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July 23, 2012


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report of Chapter 12 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy.  It is published by Little, Brown & Company.



The title of Chapter 12 is “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye”


Kenneth O’Donnell discusses JFK’s speech to the combined houses of the Irish Parliament which was the 1st ceremony in the DAIL’s legislative chamber to be shown on national television.


Kenny describes it as a speech with “flashes of easy wit, graceful literary quotations, moving praise of Ireland’s courageous history, its contributions to culture & to America……..just the kind of talk that IRELAND wanted to hear from him.”


Mr. O’Donnell points out that it was in this speech that President Kennedy 1st used a quotation from GEORGE BERNARD SHAW.*


George Bernard Shaw, 1925



The quotation was to be later “taken up” by Robert Kennedy in the 1968 Presidential campaign & is “now often credited to Bobby instead of Shaw.”


JFK said:


“This is an extraordinary country.  George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life:


‘Other people see things, & say why.  But I dream things that never were, & I say, why not?'”**


*George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), born in Dublin was an author & playwright.  In 1912-13, he wrote PYGMALION which would later be the basis for the musical ‘My Fair Lady’.


**Bobby’s quotation was altered slightly:


“Some people see things as they are & say why.  I dream things that never were, & say, why not?”


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