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“Honey Fitz” in Biddeford

Mayor John Fitzgerald wows the crowds at Biddeford Pool, September 1913.

Boston Mayor John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, grandfather to JFK (his daughter was JFK’s mother, Rose) came to Biddeford in 1913, seemingly as the main attraction in the Business Men’s Association clambake at Biddeford Pool.

He gave a rousing speech, apparently in opposition to temperance/Prohibition, and it’s effects on business in Maine. (You can learn much more about this complex history at Maine Historical Society’s excellent exhibit: Maine’s Prohibition: 82 Years In The Making.) Both the Biddeford Record and the Biddeford Journal covered the event, and here is what they had to say about it! Obviously, there is much more going on here than one celebrity visit to a monster clambake at the Pool.

Biddeford Weekly Record, Sept. 11, 1913
Biddeford Weekly Journal, Sept. 12, 1913
Biddeford Weekly Journal, Sept. 19, 1913

You can learn more about Fitzgerald and his legacy, including that of his grandchildren – the Kennedys – online. The JFK Presidential Library has a wonderful exhibit of Fitzgerald photos , and the National Park Service has a short, excellent article about him as well.

PBS’s American Experience has a film and a whole section on the Kennedys, including an overview of Fitzgerald.