A new history book about Lowell by Richard P. Howe Jr and Chaim Rosenberg to be published on March 11, 2013. To order a copy and to learn about local readings and book signings, check out our Legendary Locals of Lowell page.
Can I say that the Globe has gone a bit goofy with its Whitey-mania coverage? I admit that I boosted the instant commentary by James Carroll and Kevin Cullen two days ago when the story hit like a safe on a mouse. That was good writing.
But they are pushing it today with a slideshow of Boston places that changed or were built in the years when James B. was on the run–as if, what, maybe he would want to put on his bucket list a visit to the shark tank at the Aquarium and a stroll on the Rose Kennedy Greenway? This is not Lord of the Rings, Part 3, or Carlton Fisk coming back to the Sox organization after his time in Chicago. This is an alleged criminal shipped across the country in leg irons. The Globe is using Whitey’s return to get all nostalgic and retrospective-y? Spare us.
From the Prelude to Part First of – “The Vision of Sir Launfal” by James Russell Lowell:
And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, grasping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there ‘s never a leaf or a blade too mean
To be some happy creature’s palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o’errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,–
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?
On this day – June 27, 1963 – President John F. Kennedy, son of Massachusetts and son of County Wexford – arrived in Ireland. Celebrating the Irish roots of this American President, warm and welcoming crowds greeted President Kennedy in his ancestral home in Dunganstown and in Dublin. He described this visit – where he had tea with relatives, shook hands with crowds of school children, visited New Ross where his great-grandfather set sail for America in 1848, toured Galway, Limerick and spoke to the Irish Parliament – as “the best four days of his life.” These memorable “four days” happened just months before his November 1963 assassination.
At quayside in New Ross he noted:
“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 grandchildren have valued that inheritance.”
Read more about this visit here at history.com and here at BBChome and here at the JFK Library site where you can hear his address to the Irish Parliament.