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Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Leader in the Field of Intellectual Disability and Creator of the Special Olympics

Eunice Kennedy, a leader in the field of intellectual disability, was born at the Kennedy family home on Abbotsford Road in Brookline, MA on July 10, 1921.  She was the fifth child of Rose and Joseph Kennedy’s nine children and their third daughter.   Read full  biography of Eunice Kennedy Shriver  and watch the video, Eunice Kennedy Shriver 100: A Legacy of Inclusion , produced on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her birth by the National Park Service and Brookline Interactive Group. Eunice began her career as a social worker for women prisoners and juvenile offenders. In 1957 she headed up the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation, dedicated to improving the way society deals with mental retardation. Her camp for children and adults with intellectual disabilities inspired her to create the Special Olympics, which spread to 150+ countries. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan presented Eunice with the Medal of Honor for her life's work. Read about the Special Olympics .  John, Jean a
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Boston Painter John S. Copley, Caught Between the Tories and the Rebels During the American Revolution

Top Row: Site of Copley Home,42 Beacon Street, Beacon Hill, and Copley Square, Back Bay.  Bottom Row: Copley's Portraits of Paul Revere, John Hancock and Henry Pelham. America's first great portrait artist, John Singleton Copley (1737-1815) was born in Boston on July 3, 1738. He was the son of Irish immigrants who emigrated to Boston in the 1730s. John's parents, Richard Copley and Mary Singleton from County Clare, were married in County Limerick before emigrating to Boston. Right after their son John was born, Richard Copley traveled to the West Indies and died shortly thereafter, leaving John’s mother to raise him as a widow. She worked at a shop in Boston that sold tobacco close to Boston Harbor. In 1747 Mary S. Copley married Peter Pelham, a colonial artist and an original member of the Charitable Irish Society formed in 1737. It was Pelham who helped to nurture his stepson John's talent, and by age twenty Copley had gained a reputation as a promising artist. His fi

When Gaelic Athletic Games Were Played at Dilboy Field in Somerville, MA

GAA Games at Dilboy Field in 1964, photo from Irish Citizen Newspape r Before moving to its permanent home at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) New England division played its games at Dilboy Field in Somerville. These photos were taken from the July 4, 1964 edition of the Irish Citizen, a weekly newspaper published in the Boston area. They depict some of the scenes that summer including a match between Erin's Hope and Kerry. GAA Games at Dilboy Field in 1964, photo from Irish Citizen Newspaper   GAA Games at Dilboy Field in 1964, Irish Citizen Newspaper The GAA had been playing at Dilboy Field since at least 1932, when matches were reported in the Boston Globe and other local press. The league played in various other fields during that decade, including Smith Field in North Brighton, Russell Field in Cambridge, and Town Field in Brookline. Dilboy Field became the field of choice around summer 1947, and the GAA played there on Sunday afte

Visit these Public Memorials to John Boyle O'Reilly throughout Massachusetts

  Born 180 years ago on June 28, 1844, John Boyle O’Reilly helped shape the history or Ireland and America in the late 19th century in powerful ways. Today, O'Reilly’s stature as a seminal figure in Irish and Irish-American history is particularly evident in his beloved birthplace of Dowth, County Meath; in Freemantle, Australia where he was imprisoned; and indeed, throughout the Irish Diaspora.  O'REILLY LANDMARKS IN MASSACHUSETTS O’Reilly remains popular in Boston, New Bedford, Hull and Springfield where there is a selection of memorials and plaques, parks and city squares, library collections and Irish organizations honoring O’Reilly’s memory. In Boston, the John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial at the corner of Boylston Street and The Fens, not far from Fenway Park, was unveiled in 1896 by famed Concord sculptor Daniel French. The Memorial is part of Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail. In Charlestown, O’Reilly lived at 34 Winthrop Street, where there is a plaque in his honor. In 1988 th

Boston Irish Famine Memorial was Unveiled in Boston on June 28, 1998

  Photo courtesy of Leo McLoughlin On Sunday June 28, 1998, the Boston Irish Famine Memorial was unveiled at the corner of Washington and School streets in the city's Downtown Crossing district.  More than 7,000 people attended the ceremony. Commemorative Booklet issued on June 28, 1998 by BIFM Committee Joining Committee Chairman Thomas J. Flatley and members of the committee were special guests of the day, including Ireland's Minister of State Seamus Brennan, Massachusetts Acting Governor Paul Cellucci, Boston Mayor Tom Menino, and leaders for numerous Irish organizations in Massachusetts. Stonehill College President Rev. Bartley MacPhaidin gave the invocation, and music was provided by the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums.  The Memorial by artist  Robert Shure  juxtaposes an Irish family starving in Ireland with another Irish family striving for success in America.   Eight narrative plaques  encircling the Memorial tell the story of the famine and the Irish tr

President John F. Kennedy Honors American Revolution Naval Hero John Barry in Wexford on June 27, 1963

JFK lays wreath at John Barry Memorial in Ireland,  Photo Courtesy of JFK Library President John F. Kennedy's visit to Ireland on June 26-29, 1963 was later described by his siblings as one of the most memorable and cherished parts of his presidency.  Kennedy visited his ancestral family in Wexford and Limerick, and also stopped in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The trip was widely covered by the international media and it captured the world's imagination. In New Ross, Wexford, the ancestral home of the Kennedy family, JFK told an overflowing audience, "I'm glad to be here. It took me 115 years to make this trip, and 6,000 miles and three generations. But I am proud to be here and I appreciate the warm welcome you have given to all of us. When my great grandfather left here to become a cooper in East Boston, he carried nothing with him except two things a strong religious faith and a strong desire for liberty." Following his speech in New Ross, the Kennedy entourage vis

On June 25, 1861, the Irish 9th Massachusetts Regiment Received the State Flag from Governor John Andrew Before Going to War

Civil War Regiment on Tremont Street, Courtesy of Omni Parker House On Tuesday, June 25, 1861, the Massachusetts Ninth Irish Regiment was officially received at the Massachusetts State House by Governor John Andrew, who presented the volunteers with the state flag before they headed off to fight in the American Civil War.  The regiment had been officially mustered into service two weeks earlier on June 11, 1861. That morning the regiment left Long Island in Boston Harbor, “fully uniformed armed and equipped,” and landed at Long Wharf, where they were “greeted by an immense crowd of people, Led by Patrick S. Gilmore's Band and Mooney's Juvenile Drum Corps and escorted by various Irish societies of Boston, the 9th regiment of 1,020 men marched up State Street toward the State House, wrote Daniel G. MacNamara in his book, History of the 9th Mass. Volunteers , first published in 1899: “The route to the State House on both sides of the streets and sidewalks was one mass of people