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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Boston Welcomes Triumphant Olympians Home with Banquet at Faneuil Hall: 1896

(May 7, 1896) - The Boston athletes who triumphed in the first Modern Olympics in Athens, Greece in April, 1896, were feted by an enthusiastic crowd of family, friends and supporters with a reception in their honor at Faneuil Hall, followed by a banquet at the Vendrome Hotel.

Local poet Henry O'Meara wrote a special tribute, To Our Laureled Sons, which was recited and later sung by Irish tenor Joseph White.

The team's manager was John Graham, and the track and field athletes were Thomas E. Burke, Ellery H. Clark, Thomas P. Curtis, W.W. Hoyt  and Arthur Blake, representing the Boston Athletic Association; and James Brendan Connolly, representing the Suffolk Athletic Club in South Boston. 

Attending the banquet with other dignitaries were Governor Roger Wolcott and Boston Mayor Josiah Quincy, according to a story in the Boston Globe.

For more information, read Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past.
Posted by Boston Irish Tourism Association.