Monday, August 10, 2015



Tokyo, Japan (JFK+50) After atomic bombs were dropped by the United States on two of Japan's major cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  the Japanese Imperial government agreed seventy years ago today, August 10, 1945, to the terms of the Potsdam Declaration which provided for unconditional surrender.  The Japanese government refused, however, to accept any conditions that would "prejudice the prerogatives" of the emperor.

When this news reached the White House, President Harry Truman ordered an immediate halt to continued use of atomic weapons.   News of the surrender was not made public in Japan until August 15 when Emperor Hirohito gave his radio address.

Hirohito in Dress Uniform


Brookline, Massachsetts (JFK+50) The infant son of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, was laid to rest here at Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline fifty-two years ago today, August 10, 1963.

Patrick, who was born five and a half weeks premature on August 7, died in the early morning hours of August 9, only 39 hours after birth.  The Kennedy baby died as a result of complications of hyaline membrane disease which is common in premature births.

The funeral mass, celebrated by Richard Cardinal Cushing, archbishop of Boston, at his residence, was attended only by members of the immediate Kennedy family.

According to David Powers, JFK put a gold Saint Christopher's Medalwhich had been a present given to him by Jacqueline, inside the casket.

At graveside, President Kennedy "tightly gripped" Patrick's small white coffin.
Kenny O'Donnell and Dave Powers wrote...

"The loss of Patrick affected the President and Jackie more deeply than anybody except their closest friends realized."

A couple of months later, JFK left the Harvard-Columbia football game at halftime to visit Patrick's grave.  The President asked Kenny O'Donnell and Dave Powers to make sure he wasn't followed by the press.

Standing in the cemetery, looking down at the headstone marked KENNEDY, JFK said to Dave and Kenny...

"He seems so alone here."

After JFK's death and burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy's remains were placed next to those of his father.


"Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye:  Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy," by Kenneth P. O'Donnell and David F. Powers, Little Brown and Company, Boston, 1970, 1972.

JFK Gravesite at Arlington

Photo by Kevin Rutherford (2010)