In today’s Boston Globe – editorial page editor Peter S. Cannellos offers his take on the real meaning of John F. Kennedy’s “City Upon a Hill” speech of farewell to the citizens of the Commonwealth – offered 50 years ago today.
By making Winthrop his antecedent, his very own ancestor, he severed the chain of bloodlines that had become Massachusetts’ pillory. He replaced them with “the common threads woven by the Puritan and Pilgrim, the fisherman and farmer, the Yankee and the immigrant.’’
He was imploring Massachusetts to believe that those common threads did exist. He was reminding his home state that its fruits were intellectual. He was promising Masschusetts that he would give its tired institutions a new burst of vitality, in a more unified landscape where Boston truly could be a city on a hill, and its people could truly be the best and brightest.
Read his full article “What Kennedy knew, but didn’t say” here.