Wednesday, June 17, 2015



Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Sixty-nine years ago today, John F. Kennedy, a candidate for the United States House of Representatives in the Massachusetts 11th District primary, marched in the annual parade commemorating the Revolutionary War's Battle of Bunker Hill*.

Kenneth O'Donnell and David Powers describe the event, which was held in the Charlestown section here in Boston, as the... "grand climax of the Kennedy campaign." 

The candidate led 128 supporters in the parade including Dave Powers.  People ran out into the street to shake JFK's hand.   Chris Matthews, however, writes that Jack Kennedy collapsed before reaching the finish.

In the next day's primary, KENNEDY won with 42% of the votes. A victory celebration was held in the Kennedy HQ in Boston.  The 11th District primary victory for JFK, being predominantly Democratic, meant sure victory in the general election.   In November, JFK won handily. 

Here is an excerpt from a 1946 KENNEDY FOR CONGRESS campaign speech...

"We, in this country, must be willing to do battle for old ideas....with the same enthusiasm that people do for new ideas and creeds.  We must work together. We must recognize that we face great dangers (and) interdependent we are.  We must have the same unity that we had during the war."

*Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775) British forces under General William Howe seized Bunker Hill across the Charles River in Boston but only after suffering 226 dead & 828 wounded.

The British army made 3 charges on the position held by the Americans led by William Prescott who with a shortage of ammunition told his men, "Don't fire 'til you see the whites of their eyes."

Among the British casualties were 100 commissioned officers including Major John Pitcairn who was killed in the battle.

Bunker Hill Monument
Charlestown, Massachusetts


"Jack Kennedy:  Elusive Hero," by Chris Matthews, Simon and Schuster.

"'Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye': Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy," by 
Kenneth P. O'Donnell and David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy, Little, Brown and Company.

Congressman John F. Kennedy
 Massachusetts (D)
JFK Library Photo (1947)