The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty (virtual)

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Monday February 28

6:00 PM  –  7:00 PM

Today, we remember this iconic American family as the vanguard of wealth, power, and style rather than as the descendants of poor immigrants. Neal Thompson introduces us to the first American Kennedys, Patrick and Bridget, who arrived as thousands of others did following the Great Famine—penniless and hungry. Less than a decade after their marriage in Boston, Patrick’s sudden death left Bridget to raise their children single-handedly. Her rise from housemaid to shop owner in the face of rampant poverty and discrimination kept her family intact, allowing her only son P.J. to become the first American Kennedy elected to public office—the first of many. Written by the grandson of an Irish immigrant couple and based on first-ever access to P.J. Kennedy’s private papers, The First Kennedys is a story of sacrifice and survival, resistance and reinvention.