JFK’s visit to Ireland was the best four days of his life

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JFK Presidential Library
JFK Visit to Ireland 1963



John F. Kennedy (born May 29, 1917) became the first sitting president to pay a state visit to Ireland. The four-day visit took place June 26-29, 1963.  Kennedy referred to this visit as “the best ‘four days of his life'”.

In his message to the Dublin Parliament, he highlighted Irish emigration to the United States, Ireland’s support for American independence, and the Celtic nation’s long battle for independence from the British. Kennedy also recognized his own Irish lineage, envisioning what could have transpired had Ireland been independent when his great-grandfather immigrated to the United States. His eight great-grandparents all migrated to Boston, Massachusetts during the Great Famine.

During the speech, he lauded the Irish culture as one of “hope, confidence, and imagination” – attributes the young president deemed essential in a world where issues could be resolved, not by cynics nor pessimists, but rather by dreamers and visionaries.

In his address to the good people of New Ross, County Wexford on June 27, 1963, Kennedy revealed how much he treasured his Irish ancestry by stating, “When my great grandfather left here in 1848 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.”

He famously said, “We need men who can dream of things that never were.”  John F Kennedy is my distant cousin, and I am a member of Clan Kennedy.

His visit occurred five months before his assassination November 22, 1963. He is often considered one of the greatest presidents in the history of The United States, and one of the greatest leaders in the world.

Further reading:  JFK in Ireland: Four Days That Changed a President, book by Ryan Tubridy. Lyons Press 2010.

Photo courtesy John F Kennedy Presidential Library.

JFK Presidential Library
JFK Visit to Ireland 1963
JFK as depicted on Forever Stamps. US Post Office 2016
JFK as depicted on Forever Stamps. US Post Office 2016
JFK portrait by Norman Rockwell
JFK portrait by Norman Rockwell
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Dr. Anton Anderssen
Dr. Anton Anderssen has been published by USA Today, CBSnewsDetroit, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Mensa Bulletin, Broadway World, eTurboNews, Hawaii Tourism Association, HawaiiNews.Online, Michigan Journal, Examiner News and other news outlets. He won the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working writers organization, founded 1900 as The Detroit Press Club. He graduated With Highest Distinction from Indiana University (Comparative Literature), earned a Juris Doctor degree (Wayne State University), attended post-doctorate graduate classes in anthropology (University of Michigan), and earned a post-doctorate graduate degree in cultural anthropology (Wayne State University). He is a former concert pianist with Indiana University School of Music and the Detroit Institute of Arts. He is a member of Mensa and several other high IQ organizations including Triple Nine Society, ISPE and The Prometheus Society. He specializes in high culture, and is of Scandinavian, British and Castilian heritage. He is The Supreme Historian for Knights of Equity, founded in 1895. He holds the legal title Lord of Hartforth in North Yorkshire, England, and is the direct blood descendant of the first Lord of Hartforth, documented in the Domesday Survey of 1086. He is the direct blood descendant of Plantagenet Kings of England and the Lords Kennedy of Scotland. He lives in Waikiki, Hawaii, Michigan, The Italian Riviera, London England, The Italian Alps, and Milan Italy. He is a docent at The Iolani Palace in Honolulu Hawaii, the only official royal residence in the United States.