Thursday, May 29, 2014



Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Ninety-seven years ago today, May 29, 1917, the future 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was born here in Boston.

JFK was the second child born to Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy.  

Jack, as the baby would be nicknamed, was born at the family home at 83 Beals Street in Brookline.

He was the namesake of his grandfather, John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, the former mayor of Boston.

Jack Kennedy at 6 months
JFK Birthplace Historic Site

Jack and Joe Junior    

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 was the family obstetrician who delivered Jack.

The proud father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., a Harvard graduate, was the president of Columbia Trust Bank in East Boston.  

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

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


JFK Birthplace National Historic Site
83 Beals Street
Brookline, Massachusetts

Joe and Rose Kennedy had lived in the home on Beals Street in Brookline since their marriage in 1914.  Mr. Kennedy paid $6500 for the house which was built in 1909.

Mrs. Kennedy said  she loved the "space and air" of the community although it required a 15 minute walk to reach the trolley line.

The house at 83 Beals Street was JFK's home for his first four years of life. In 1921, the Kennedys moved to a larger house in the same neighborhood. 

JFK was christened on June 19, 1917 at nearby St. Aidan's Catholic Church where Joe Jr. and Jack would serve as altar boys.

Jack attended the Edward Devotion School, Noble and Greenough Lower School and the Dexter School.

The Kennedys moved to Riverdale, New York in 1927.

       National Park Service Program


"Intimately modest and furnished in original Kennedy family heirlooms and  period reproductions, the home at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts conveys a sense of familiarity.

Old fashioned phone

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

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

'We were happy here, and although we did not know about the days ahead, we were enthusiastic and optimistic about the future.'"

The house, sold to a family friend in 1927, was repurchased by the Kennedys in 1966.  It was 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."*


*"The Kennedy's of Beals Street," by Tony Fusco. Collectibles Illustrated, Nov/Dec 1983.

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