PRESIDENT KENNEDY VISITED IRELAND 53 YEARS AGO TODAY
Dublin, Ireland (JFK+50) John F. Kennedy, the first Irish-American President of the United States, landed here in Dublin fifty-three years ago last evening, June 26, 1963, becoming the first American president to visit the country during his term of office.
The President was greeted by Eamon de Valera, President of Ireland, and welcomed by Irish children waving American flags and singing his favorite Irish tunes.
Ryan Tubridy writes...
"The two Presidents made their way...for the brief journey from Dublin airport across the city to Phoenix Park, home of both the Irish President and the American Ambassador to Ireland.
The crowds were enormous and excited. On...O'Connell Street, between 60,000 and 80,000 people showed up to welcome the President."
On the morning of June 27, President Kennedy visited Wexford and New Ross.
In his speech on the Quay, JFK said...
"When my great grandfather left here to become a cooper in East Boston, he carried nothing with him except two things: a strong religious faith and a strong desire for liberty. I am glad to say that all of his great grandchildren have valued that inheritance."
The President then made a short drive to Dunganstown to visit the farm once owned by his great great grandfather, Patrick Kennedy. JFK was greeted by his hostess and third cousin, Mary Ryan, who was accompanied by about 25 relatives.
After the visit, President Kennedy "...kissed his cousin on the check, patted her clasped hands and said goodbye. It was the last time he would ever see her; the last time he would ever see home."
"JFK In Ireland, Four Days That Changed a President," by Ryan Tubridy, Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut, 2011.
"One of Ourselves: JFK in Ireland" by James Robert Carroll, Images from the Past, Inc., Bennington, Vermont, 2003.