It’s been nearly a century since a 7-pound baby boy was born at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. His parents named him John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and it’s almost inconceivable that he would have turned 100 this year, since we know him forever as a president with youth, vigor, and optimism, […]
By Mel Allen
Feb 15 2017
It’s been nearly a century since a 7-pound baby boy was born at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. His parents named him John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and it’s almost inconceivable that he would have turned 100 this year, since we know him forever as a president with youth, vigor, and optimism, standing on a Cape Cod beach, hair tousled by a salt-filled wind. In “Beyond Camelot” we remember JFK, his brother Ted, and an era when politics was defined by civil discourse as we visit the two adjacent Boston museums that speak to the Kennedys’ legacy at a time when understanding history has seldom felt more important.
JFK loved the ocean. Indeed, visitors to the smaller John F. Kennedy Museum, in Hyannis, will see his statue outside, caught midstride among tufts of beach grass. For most of us, a walk by the ocean remains one of life’s great levelers. When you stroll beside the wave-rippled water with seabirds fluttering all about, it matters little if you are young or old. Life seems better then. It just does. In “Walks Worth Their Salt” we take you along on some of our favorites. But it’s far from an exhaustive list—so much coastline, so few pages—and intrepid seekers of coastal walks no doubt have their own special trails and beaches. We want to hear about those, too, so email your personal picks to email@example.com.
Our lead story “City of Hope” centers on a small Maine city filled with recent arrivals from distant shores. More than almost any other community in the country, Lewiston has seen a seismic shift in its identity: Of its nearly 36,000 residents, some 6,000 emigrated in the past 16 years from African nations beset by strife. Many are Muslim. They want to work, raise families, and thrive in New England. Writer Cynthia Anderson follows some of these new Mainers, who have known hard pasts and now face a future that seems a bit more brittle than it did a few months ago.
As you get to know these newcomers, ask yourself if their hopes and dreams are all that different from those of two families who arrived in New England in the mid-19th century, driven from Ireland by the potato famine. The Fitzgeralds emigrated from the village of Bruff, in County Limerick; at the same time, a cooper named Patrick Kennedy set sail for the United States from Dunganstown. Years passed and marriages happened and generations followed, and on May 29, 1917, a baby boy was born in Brookline.
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