Tip O’Neill Announces a Run for Congressional seated being vacated by John F. Kennedy
If you think that the Congress of today has always been this way, well just remember Massachusetts Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill – the way he served, his work ethic and the way he ran the House of Representatives when he was “Mr. Speaker.” A man of the 20th Century, he believed that government works and should take an active role in fighting poverty and injustice. A man with a genius for getting things done, his colleagues elected him as Speaker in both the Massachusetts House and U. S. House of Representatives. At his death in 1994, O’Neill was eulogized as one of the twentieth century’s most gifted politicians but also as a man who never forgot where he came from. As his North Cambridge neighbors said, “His hat still fit.”
…in 1952, Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill of Cambridge announced that he would run for the Congressional seat being vacated by John F. Kennedy as Kennedy began a campaign for the Senate. O’Neill had already served seven terms in the state legislature. He would serve in the U.S. Congress for the next 39 years, the last ten as Speaker of the House. An affable man who believed “all politics is local,” O’Neill played an important role in national affairs —supporting civil rights, opposing the Vietnam War, and leading the fight for liberal causes. Although one of the most powerful men in the nation, at his death in 1994, O’Neill was remembered as a man who “never forgot where he came from.”
Speaker O’Neill came to Lowell to support 5th District Congressman Jim Shannon. He is pictured here at The Speare House circa 1980 with my parents Jim and Marie Kirwin (and me).