Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick Day Quiz

What Irish county is the ancestral home of the Kennedy political family?
a) Cork
b) Wexford
c) Dublin
d) Mayo

Answer: b) Patrick Kennedy — the great-grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York and their siblings — emigrated in 1848 during the Irish potato famine. He left his home in Dunganstown — near New Ross in County Wexford, located in Ireland’s southeastern corner — settling in East Boston, Massachusetts.

JFK visited the family homestead during a triumphal visit to Ireland in late June 1963.

Online biographies produce a striking historical coincidence: Patrick Kennedy died in a cholera epidemic on Nov. 22, 1858, exactly 105 years to the day before John F. Kennedy lost his life to an assassin’s bullets while on a presidential visit to Dallas, Texas.

Patrick Kennedy died not long after the birth of his son, Patrick J. Kennedy , who would go on to success in business and served in the state legislature, beginning the family’s emergence as a political force. His son, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, became vastly wealthy in business, was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as first head of the Securities and Exchange Commission and as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, and was father to nine children, including JFK.

Patrick J. Kennedy , a namesake of the family’s immigrant forebear and a son of Edward M. Kennedy , is in his seventh term as a Democratic House member from Rhode Island.

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