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Showing posts from June, 2014

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy - Beloved in Boston

This story appeared in the  Irish Echo  newspaper She may be gone but she is certainly not forgotten.  Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald (1890-1995), who held the Kennedy family together through tragedy and triumph for much of the 20 th century, is permanently enshrined along Boston ’s waterfront. The mother of President John F. Kennedy , Rose was the daughter of Mayor John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, the wife of businessman Joseph P. Kennedy , the mother of nine children - including an American president, two more senators, an ambassador and a war hero - and the grandmother of 30 children.  A highly educated woman of zest and curiosity, she led a rich and eventful life, becoming a public figure on the world stage for much of the 20 th century, and relying upon her faith to get her through her later heartache.     In Boston , two public parks bear her name, and bear witness to the love and affection Bostonians had for her in her life and after she died. The Rose KennedyGarden

Hostility to Immigrants in Boston, June 1847

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh declared June 2014 as Immigrant Heritage Month in the City of Boston, in recognition of the positive role immigrants play in Boston, in Massachusetts and across the United States . The plight of new immigrants coming to Boston has always been contentious through history.  Here is an excerpt from a Boston Pilot editorial dated June 19, 1847, in response to the way Irish famine refugees were being treated by certain Bostonians at that time: Hostility to Emigrants "We feel a sentiment stronger than shame, when we see a portion of this community indulging in vituperation and abuse against emigrants, who this season (for various causes) are flocking in unusual numbers to our shores.  They come amongst us for a home, and if life and health are vouchsafed to them, they will earn the right to that home and whilst rescuing themselves from famine, will enrich by their labor and industry, the land that affords them a refuge."   At the same

In summer 1872, Boston Staged the Biggest Concert in History, with over 22,000 Musicians

In the summer of 1872, Boston  staged the largest concert in history, featuring over 2,000 musicians and 20,000 singers, performing as soloists, in various ensembles and also  en masse , to convey the joy, comfort and inspiration that music can bring. The World Peace Jubilee and International Music Festival ran from June 17 through July 4, 1872, housed in a temporary coliseum that was built in what is now Copley Square in Boston ’s Back Bay .  In addition to the 22,000 performers, the stadium held 60,000 spectators, and it was filled to capacity on many of the 18 days in which the Jubilee ran. The Jubilee was created by Irish immigrant Patrick S. Gilmore, a talented cornet player, band leader and impresario who had become the best known musician in America .  Gilmore had been Band Master for the Union Army during the Civil War and is credited with penning the song, When Johnny Comes Marching Home , a war anthem still played today.  He had staged an earlier National Peace J

BITA Issues Summer 2014 Travel & Culture Guide, for New England & Ireland

( Boston ) — The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) has issued its annual Travel & Culture Guide, featuring a round-up of festivals, concerts and cultural activities taking place in  Massachusetts and the region, as well as travel information to Ireland and Northern Ireland . You can pick up a free copy of the Travel & Culture Guide at  these locations , or  read the summer 2014 issue online . The 28-page color magazine, distributed free at visitor kiosks and cultural venues throughout Massachusetts, gives details on Celtic festivals and concerts taking place from June through September, plus traveler information on hotels and travel agencies, pubs and restaurants, gift shops and retail shops, museums and cultural associations.  This issue profiles Stephen Johnston, General Manager of the Boston Harbor Hotel, and James Rooney, head of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.  It details two of Tourism Ireland ’s 2014 travel promotions, the Wild

Irish Social Club in W. Roxbury Holds Firefighters Fleadh on Sunday, June 8

The Irish Social Club of Boston is holding an all day  Firefighters Fleadh  on Sunday, June 8, 2014, to raise funds for the families of firefighters, including   firefighter Michael R. Kennedy of Ladder 15 and Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh of Engine 33 , who lost their lives as Engine 33 battled a nine-alarm fire in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.   The event runs from noon to midnight, and suggested donation is $20.00.  There are raffle drawings, dance lessons and continuous entertainment, food and beverage.  A number of great local Irish bands, singers and dancers are performing, including appearances by Pauline Wells and Sean Gilmartin.  Here is the schedule: Auld Locals Noon Colm O'Brien 1:00 Irish Whispa 2:00 Boston 's Erin's Og 3:00 Erin's Guild 4:00 Ireland 5:00 Devri 6:00 The Old Brigade 7:00 The Fenian Sons 8:00 Silver Spears 9:00 Here is a  brief history of the Irish Social Club .  You can follow the  Irish Social Club on Facebo

Massachusetts Fighting 9th Regiment Mustered into Service in June 1861

The famous Massachusetts Fighting 9th Regiment, which fought in all of America 's wars, from the Civil War to the Korean War, was mustered into service on June 11, 1861.   The regiment was headed by Colonel Thomas Cass, an Irish immigrant who organized the Irish immigrant squad after the Battle of Fort Sumter in April, 1861, when President Abraham Lincoln . issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteers to defend the Union .  Massachusetts Governor John Andrew commissioned Colonel Cass to lead the Fighting 9th Regiment, who proudly carried flags of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts , and the regiment was also permitted to carry its own Irish flag, which was donated by Mrs. Harrison Gray Otis. The flag is now part of the Hall of Flags at the Massachusetts State House .    The 9th Regiment left Boston on June 25, 1861 and headed south to the war zone.  Cass led the regiment into battle and died from his wounds at the Battle of Malvern