EPIC Welcomes John F Kennedy Home After 60 Years

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EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum will soon be home to a wide-ranging new exhibition; ‘Homecoming: JFK in Ireland’, which has been created in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

This year marks 60 years since the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, visited Irish shores.

This beautifully curated exhibition delves into the cultural and political significance of Kennedy’s four-day trip in 1963, utilising original documents, photography, and oral history interviews to convey what the visit meant to Irish politicians, diplomats, and onlookers, the purpose it served during a time of national transition, and how international observers perceived the event.

The visit itself was filled with fanfare and joyous scenes as Kennedy was welcomed by large crowds in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and in New Ross and Wexford town, his family’s ancestral county.

Running from 7th June until September 2023, this richly illustrated exhibition will highlight the pivotal role Kennedy’s visit played in strengthening Irish-American relations and shaping a new era of optimism for the country.

Nathan Mannion, Head of Exhibitions and Programmes at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, said: “Although there are many US Presidents who can lay claim to Irish roots, JFK is probably the most well-known of them all. When he visited Ireland in 1963, the entire nation was won over by his charm, charisma, and genuine affection for the Irish people. Of course, the visit also had a significant impact on Irish and U.S. politics, with President Kennedy delivering the first official address by a foreign Head of State to the joint houses of the Oireachtas on 28th June.”

Rachel Flor, Executive Director, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, said: “President Kennedy relished his Irish heritage. From the time he was a young boy, he loved to hear stories of his eight great-grandparents who all migrated to Boston, Massachusetts during the devastating Potato Famine of the late 1840s. As President, his return to Ireland was a homecoming he later described as one of the most moving experiences of his life. We’re grateful to partner with EPIC and the Department of Foreign Affairs to tell the story of this seminal moment in President Kennedy’s life and in Irish history.”

The themes of the exhibition will range from Ireland’s rapid modernisation in 1963 to the pomp and ceremony surrounding JFK’s visit, the political and diplomatic aspects of the trip, and the lasting legacy of his visit on Irish society. ‘Homecoming’ also explores JFK’s Irish heritage and the history of his Famine emigrant ancestors, tracing the Kennedys’ rise to power and influence.

Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to delve into a pivotal moment in Irish-American history, only at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.

‘Homecoming: JFK in Ireland’ Exhibition will run at EPIC from 7th June 2023 until September 2023. Visit www.epicchq.com to find out more.

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