What Did JFK Really Mean 50 Years Ago Today?

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.

From Canellos:

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.

2 Responses to What Did JFK Really Mean 50 Years Ago Today?

  1. John Quealey says:

    When I saw the picture in the paper of John Kennedy with John Thompson”the Iron Duke” I thought of Connie from your Grandmothers Acre who ran for Speaker but the Duke won.Was that before your time Marie.

  2. Marie says:

    Connie was a cousin! I didn’t know him well but went to NDA with his niece MaryAnn and knew his sister Alice as a professor at Lowell State. The history is long and deep!