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Showing posts from December, 2019

John F. Fitzgerald Wins Special Election to become Boston's Mayor

Advertisement in The Boston Globe, December 12, 1905 On December 12, 1905, John F. Fitzgerald won a special election to become mayor of Boston.  He replaced the late  Patrick A Collins , who died suddenly in September 1905 while on vacation, leaving the seat vacant.   He became the first Irish-American to win the seat, following in the heels of two Irish-born mayors, Hugh O'Brien (1885-88) and Collins (1902-05).  Fitzgerald ran against Republican candidate Louis Frothingham and beat him by a margin of 47% to %38. Three other independent candidates were also in the race. Leading up to the general elections, there were rumors in the local newspapers, including  The Boston Globe , that opponents of Fitzgerald, dissatisfied with the Democratic primary results, planned to knife him at the polls.  There were also rumors that several Democratic operatives were working with Frothingham to keep Fitzgerald out of the mayor's seat. At that time, the mayor'

Irish Tenors McCormack & Murphy Perform in Boston in December 1919

John McCormack and Lambert Murphy, operatic tenors and recording artists for Victor Records, performed in Boston in December 1919. Murphy, a Harvard graduate born in Springfield MA, performed at Jordan Hall on Friday, December 5. He sang a group of American, French and Russian songs, and concluded with Irish folk songs.    His finale was "There is no Death" by O’Hara, which delighted the audience. John McCormack, famed Irish tenor, broke the attendance record at Boston Symphony Hall on December 7, where he performed “several numbers new to Boston audiences,” including an aria by Handel. He also performed a group of Irish folk songs, including "The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls" by Thomas Moore. “Faces wore happy smiles and there were audible chuckles at numerous bits and visible tears at the pathos,”  The Boston Globe wrote   about McCormack    “ He has the best qualities of a popular favorite: willingness to please a friendly audience and mark