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May 29, 2011


Today JFK+50 honors the 94th anniversary of the birth of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

In a break with the normal format, on this special day we will devote the entire posting to JFK.*

*Personal Note:

We received word last night that my 1st cousin, Jim White, has been admitted to the hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee with a heart condition.  Word came this morning that they have unblocked an artery & he is doing much better.  Jim is author of “Tennessee Grandaddy” & he has been such a great help to me with my blog.  

May 29, 1917


Mr. & Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. announced today the birth of their 2nd child, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

JFK was born at the family home at 83 Beals Street in the Brookline section of Boston, Massachusetts.

The child is the namesake of his grandfather, John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, the former mayor of Boston.*

*The Fitzgeralds are on a much higher political & social status than the Kennedys in 1917.

The baby boy, however, will be called “Jack”.

            Jack Kennedy at 6 months
        Photo hangs in master bedroom
          JFK Birthplace Historic Site

Jack has an older brother, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. who is known as “Joe Jr”.

       Brothers Jack & Joe Junior
        At home at 83 Beals Street
         Brookline, Massachusetts

The birth came at 3 in the afternoon in the 2nd floor master bedroom.  The twin bed nearest the window was chosen to give the best light.

Dr. Frederick Good is the family obstetrician who delivered Jack.

The proud father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., is the 28 year old president of Columbia Trust Bank in East Boston.  He is a graduate of Harvard.

Joe Sr.’s dad, Patrick J. Kennedy, was a ward boss & Irish-American community leader in Boston.

All the Boston Kennedys emigrated to America in the 1840s to escape the Irish potato famine.

MAY 29, 1917


John F. Kennedy was born at the family home at 83 Beals Street in Brookline.

JFK Birthplace National Historic Site
                 83 Beals Street
        Brookline, Massachusetts

Joseph & Rose Kennedy have lived in the home since their marriage in 1914.  Mr. Kennedy paid $6500 for the house which was built in 1909.

Mrs. Kennedy says she loves the “space & air” of the community but it does require a 15 minute walk to reach the trolley line.*

*The house at 83 Beals Street will be JFK’s home for his 1st 4 years of life. In 1921, the Kennedys move to a larger house in the same neighborhood. 

JFK is christened on June 19, 1917 at nearby St. Aidan’s Catholic Church where Joe Jr. & Jack will be altar boys.

JFK attends the Edward Devotion School, Noble & Greenough Lower School & the Dexter School.

The Kennedys move to Riverdale, New York in 1927.

       National Park Service Program


“Intimately modest & furnished in original Kennedy family heirlooms & period reproductions, the home (at 83 Beals Street in Brookline) conveys a sense of familiarity.

“Old fashioned phone in the hallway”

The beds are covered with Irish linen bedspreads embroidered with thistles, shamrocks & other Irish symbols.

Mrs. Rose Kennedy (who conducts visitors through the home by way of a recorded tape) says:

‘We were happy here, & although we did not know about the days ahead, we were enthusiastic & optimistic about the future.'”

The house (sold to a family friend in 1927) was repurchased by the Kennedys in 1966.  It has been restored to the original 1917 appearance with the supervision of Rose Kennedy. 

In 1967, the house was donated to the people of the United States.”*

*Text from an article by Tony Fusco by the same title which appeared in the November/December 1983 issue of “Collectibles Illustrated”.

        Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy 
Speaks at JFK Birthplace Dedication 
National Park Service Photo (1969)

May 29, 2011


When we visited the JFK Birthplace for the 1st time in July 1986, the admission fee was 50 cents & there was only a single National Park Service ranger there to greet you.

I had my new JVC color camcorder with me & asked if I would be able to use it in the home.  The ranger said it would be fine.  This is no longer true today as there is a restriction on the use of cameras.

The JVC used a 20 minute VHS tape.  I still have it today.  I was able to get all of the rooms on the tape while the voice of Ms. Rose Kennedy is in the background.

If you do not have opportunity to visit the historic site, you can go to the National Park Service website & take an “on-line virtual tour” (for free).  

Amazingly, it is the exact same audio that I recorded on my JVC in 1986.*

*The link is www.nps.gov/jofi/index.htm.

     National Park Service Photo (1974)

July 21, 1999


 “A gentle rain fell…as mourners found their way to the green-shingled house on a quiet Brookline street.

They felt compelled to come….to the birthplace & 1st home of America’s forever-young president…to mourn the loss of John F. Kennedy, Jr.”*

*From Sun-Sentinel.com

JFK & JFK Jr. at The White House
            October 10, 1963
    Photo by Cecil Stoughton

May 29, 1961


President John F. Kennedy celebrated his 44th birthday today at a dinner in his honor at the Commonwealth Armory in Boston, Massachusetts.

JFK’s guests included his priest, Richard Cardinal Cushing & the obstetrician who delivered him 44 years ago, Dr. Frederick Good.*

*Dr. Good actually delivered all 9 of the Kennedy children.

Poet Robert Frost, who spoke at JFK’s inaugural in January, was also present.

In his speech at the armory, the President talked of his upcoming trip to France.  He said:

“(a) close relationship must exist between France & the United States if the cause of freedom in the Atlantic community is to be preserved.”*

*please check “JFK’s Daily Wit” for another quote from his speech.

       JFK, De Gaulle & 1st Lady
       Elysee Palace, Paris (1961)
            JFK Library Photo

May 29, 1962


President John F. Kennedy is celebrating his 45th birthday today at the presidential retreat, Glen Ora near Middleburg, Virginia.

Arriving by helicopter with the President were Robert & Ethel Kennedy, Jean Kennedy Smith & Sargent & Eunice Shriver.

May 29, 1963


President John F. Kennedy celebrated his 46th birthday today at the White House.

JFK was honored with a birthday cake at a party in the White House Navy Mess Hall.

In the evening, the President, along with 20 close friends & associates, continued the birthday celebration aboard the presidential yacht Sequoia.


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