Monday, July 22, 2013


July 22, 2013


Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy was born 123 years ago today, July 22, 1890 at 4 Garden Court Street here in Boston's North End.  The Fitzgerald home was located near the Paul Revere House.

Rose's parents were John F. and Mary Josephine Fitzgerald.  She studied piano at the New England Conservatory and attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Manhattanville, NY.

Rose met Joe Kennedy in Old Orchard, Maine in 1906 and after a long courtship, Rose married Joseph P. Kennedy on October 7, 1914. 

Rose later recalled...

"I fell in love when I was seventeen and I never fell out."

Rose's father, John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, then the Mayor of Boston, did not share his daughter's love for Joe and the wedding ceremony was held in private attended only by family and the closest friends.

The couple began their marriage living in Brookline and would eventually have 9 children,  one of them becoming President and two others becoming United States Senators.  

Rose was a devout Catholic who almost always attended Sunday Mass.  She died at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port on January 22, 1995.

The funeral was held at St. Stephen's Church on January 24 in Boston's North End where Rose had been born.

Her surviving son, Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy spoke to the 800 people who came to pay their respects to his mother.  He said...

"She has gone to God.  She is home.  And at this moment, she is happily presiding at a heavenly table with both of her Joes, with Jack and Kathleen, with Bobby and David.

And as she did all our lives, whether it was when I walked back through the rain from school as a child, or when a  president who was her son came back to Hyannis Port, she will be there ready to welcome the rest of us home someday.

She had a long and extraordinary life and we loved her deeply.  To all of us in the Kennedy and Fitzgerald family, she was the most beautiful rose of all."

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, who left behind 30 grandchildren and 41 great grandchildren, was buried in Brookline's Holyhood Cemetery next to her husband Joe.

                           Rose and Jack
       JPK,Jr. Foundation Awards Dinner
     Statler Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC
                       December 6, 1962
         Photo by Abbie Rowe/JFK Library


"Rose Kennedy and Her Family:  The Best and Worst of Their Lives and Times," by Barbara Gibson and Ted Schwarz, Carol Publishing Group, New York, 1995.

"Rose Kennedy, Political Matriarch Dies at 104," by Robert D. McFadden, January 23, 1995,


Chicago, Illinois (JFK+50) John Dillinger*, labeled as "Public Enemy #1" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was killed by federal agents outside the Biograph Theater here in the Windy City 79 years ago this evening, July 22, 1934.

Anna Sage, a brothel madam here in the city and a friend of Dillinger's, co-operated with the FBI in tracking him down.

Miss Sage and Dillinger watched the gangster movie "Manhattan Melodrama" as twenty FBI agents and police officers waited outside.

Sage wore an orange dress to identify herself for the officers.

At 10:40 p.m. as Dillinger and Sage emerged from the theater, officers ordered him to surrender.

Instead, he attempted to escape but was shot down in an alley at the end of the block.  One bullet entered in Dillinger's neck, severing the spinal cord.

Dillinger was pronounced dead at Alexian Brothers Hospital at 10:50 p.m.

                            Biograph Theater 
                            Chicago, Illinois
                                   FBI Photo

*John Herbert Dillinger (1903-1934) was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Involved in petty theft as a teen, he quit school, worked in a machine shop and in 1922 was arrested for auto theft.

Dillinger joined the navy, was dishonorably discharged and later arrested for robbing a grocery store.  He was found guilty, sentenced 10-20 years, but was paroled in 1933 after serving 9 years.

After his release, Dillinger organized his gang which robbed the New Carlisle, Ohio bank.  J. Edgar Hoover assigned a special squad of FBI agents to track down Dillinger.  At his death, John Dillinger was 31 years old.

                 John Dillinger's Mugshot
                               FBI Photo