In June 1963, JFK became the first sitting U.S. President to visit Ireland, flying to Dublin from Berlin after delivering his powerful “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. President Kennedy was deeply proud of his Irish heritage, and during his historic visit remarked to the people of Limerick, “This is not the land of my birth but it is the land for which I hold the greatest affection.” He referred to his stay in Ireland as “the best four days of my life.”
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation commemorated the 60 years since President Kennedy’s emotional visit to his ancestral home, aiming to recapture the joy and optimism that defined this seminal moment in his life and in Irish history. This was a forward-looking celebration, challenging us to learn from the past, draw inspiration from President Kennedy’s visit and vision, and reflect on current U.S.-Ireland relations and the vast contributions of the Irish immigrants to U.S. culture and politics.
JFK60: A Hundred Thousand Welcomes brought together global leaders to celebrate the lasting legacy of John F. Kennedy and the enduring special ties between the United States and Ireland.