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Monday, April 18, 2016

Rare Photos of Boston Legend James Michael Curley Now Online


James Michael Curley, the legendary Irish-American politician who dominated Boston and Massachusetts politics for half a century, was also one of the most photographed politicians of his time.

Last year, the Jamaica Plain Historical Society purchased nearly 1,300 photographs of Mr. Curley from 1934-58, and has made that collection available online, thanks to a collaboration with the Boston Public Library and the  UMass/Amherst Libraries.

Here is the James Michael Curley Negatives Collection.

For more about Boston's Irish-American history, visit the IrishHeritageTrail.org.



Saturday, April 16, 2016

Legendary Johnny Kelly finished 58 Boston Marathons over Illustrious Running Career


For the 120th running of the Boston Marathon taking place on Monday, April 18, 2016, we pay tribute to the amazing John Adelbert  Kelley, who holds the record for running more Boston Marathons than any other athlete. 

Kelley was born in 1907 in West Medford, outside of Boston, and traces his ancestry to County Wexford.  "My father's people left to go to Australia," he told The Boston Globe in 1981, when he was preparing for his 50th race.  "The boat stopped in Boston and they never left." 

Kelley ran his first marathons in 1928 and 1932 but did not finish either race.  He ran again in 1933 and has competed in every single race through 1992!  He finished in the top 10 eighteen times, taking first place in 1935 and again in 1945.  He owns the record for the most races started (61) and the most finished (58).  His best time was two hours and thirty minutes, posted in 1943.  He was 84 when he ran his last race in 1992, posting a time of Five hours and fifty-eight minutes.

He was christened Johnny "The Elder" Kelley, when John J. Kelley (no relation) emerged as a champion in the 1950s, winning the race in 1957. 

In 1993 the Boston Athletic Association erected a statue honoring Johnny Kelley on Heartbreak Hill in Newton.  The twin statues depict Kelley in 1935 and again in 1995, holding hands as they cross the proverbial finish line.

 For more on Boston Irish history and heritage, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com or visit IrishMassachusetts.com.

For tourist information, visit MassVacation and BostonUSA.com.