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1909 is a year mentioned several times in the series.
- 16-year old Margaret begins to work as a maid in the house of a barrister named Walton following the death of her father. She claims that Walton let her read freely from his extensive library. ("Peg of Old", "The Ivory Tower")
- Shortly after, Margaret has a romantic relationship with Walton's son, Douglas, and becomes pregnant with his child. When discovered by her family, she refuses to identify the father and, when threatened with being sent to a Magdalene Asylum by the local priest, she claims to have been raped but she is not believed. ("Peg of Old")
- Margaret asks for help to her older brother, Eamonn, but he declines to help her. Without other option, she steals the money that her family has been saving to send Eamonn to the United States and uses it to emigrate there herself. She sails from Galway on September 27th and, after a stop in Southampton, England, arrives in New York City and passes the immigration inspection in Ellis Island. ("Peg of Old", "Two Boats and a Lifeguard", "Family Limitation")
- Hans Schroeder begins to work as a baker's helper. ("The Ivory Tower")
- The town's African American workers go on strike. The strike is ended by using strike breakers who even threw some strikers off the pier at some point. ("Georgia Peaches")