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Sunday, December 8, 2013

1913: Massachusetts Governor Elect David I Walsh Plans Big Inaugural Reception Due to Public Enthusiasm


David I. Walsh, the first Irish Catholic elected as Governor of Massachusetts, had to plan a larger inaugural reception than originally envisioned because of public enthusiasm for his election, according to The Boston Globe.

"So great is the demand for invitations to his inaugural that Gov-elect Walsh has evolved a new plan, which he believes will reduce disappointments," the Globe wrote in a story on December 10, 1913. "A reception will be held in the Hall of Flags immediately after the delivery in the House chamber of his inaugural address....Mr. Walsh intends to enter the Hall of Flags and shake hands with as many persons as care to meet him."

Walsh served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1914-16, according to Mass.gov, and later became the state's first Irish Catholic US Senator, serving in Congress for over 20 years, starting in 1918.

A statue to Walsh is featured as one of the stops along the Boston Irish Heritage Trail, created by the Boston Irish Tourism Association to present local history in public places.


For more about Boston's Irish history, read Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past, published by Globe Pequot Press.