In the 1840s, thousands of Irish immigrants fled the Great Famine and came to America. If dealing with starvation, gruesome ship conditions, and persecution by the British wasn't enough, Irish immigrants faced significant discrimination in the United States. One of the major ways this discrimination made itself clear was through job postings, both in newspapers and in shop windows, that read "No Irish Need Apply." The signs were blatantly discriminatory and surfaced numerous times during the mid-19th century.
In 2002, history professor Richard J. Jensen decided these signs were few and far between and may not have existed at all. Jensen published an academic paper that stirred controversy among the Irish-American community who felt that their long and deep memory of prejudice and discrimination was invalidated by Jensen's accusations that Irish persecution is a myth. Jensen's theory prevailed for more than a decade until another academic paper was published by 14-year-old Rebecca Fried in 2015 that delineated why Jensen's paper was wrong. She found proof of the "No Irish Need Apply," or NINA, signs with only a few minutes of Googling.
In 2002, Professor Richard J. Jensen Wrote 'No Irish Need Apply: A Myth of Victimization'
People Used Jensen's Paper To Accuse Irish Americans Of Exaggerating Their Victimhood
Rebecca Fried, An Eighth Grader, Read Jensen's Article And Decided To Do Some Research
Fried Wasn't Aiming To Disprove Jensen, But She Did So Pretty Quickly