Scotland and North American are more closely connected than you might think! Our blog this week, in honour of our trip to the States, is all about the American-Scots affiliation. It’s clear that the US has culturally influenced not only Scotland but the rest of the world with TV, movies, dialect and fashion. But little traces of Scotland can be found peppered around America as well – here are just some examples:
Mickey Mouse is possibly the most iconic american cartoon ever created, but did you know that he was originally voiced by a Scot? That’s right! Jimmy MacDonald, from Dundee, was the voice of Mickey Mouse for almost 40 years, as well as being Disney’s sound effects genius.
43 men have served as President of the United States, but did you know that an incredible 33 of them were of either Scottish or Ulster-Scots descent? George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all have Scottish ancestors.
When people from Scotland (and elsewhere) immigrated to “The New World” in search of a better life, many decided to name their new settlements after the towns they had left behind. As a result, there are eight Aberdeens, eight Edinburghs, seven Glasgows and eight places simply known as Scotland in the United States today. In addition, many places are named after Scottish clan names such as Campbell, Cameron and Douglas.
When Neil Armstrong ventured into space in 1969 shortly to become a national hero, he took a scrap of Armstrong tartan with him. He explained later that the tartan was a tribute to his ancestors from Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway. When Armstrong visited the town in 1972 he was given a key to the city.
Let’s not forget, lastly, April’s annual Tartan Week which is hosted in New York City. Each year, delegates from both nations gather to celebrate our cultural alliance with a parade and a myriad of events and activities. The festival is in it’s 14th year, and is growing with each parade!