Tip O'Neill Centennial Celebration North Cambridge Tour


Tip O'Neill

The Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Nelll, Jr. Centennial Committee invites you to partake in a series of events commemorating the centennial of Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr., Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Cambridge Discovery Days Tour: Tip O’Neill’s North Cambridge: “All Politics is Local.”
Saturday, August 4, 10-11:30 a.m.
Tour begins at the Brickman, corner of Haskell and Pemberton streets, just outside Rindge Field.

Celebrate the 100th birthday of the late Tip O’Neill on this walk through his beloved North Cambridge neighborhood. Explore the streets where he spent his boyhood and retrace his regular Saturday morning walk on Mass. Ave. where he always met friends and neighbors. Along the way discover why the Speaker was a consummate politician and legislator; enjoy some of the stories that made him a raconteur par excellence—and uncover the origin of his most famous phrase. At least one delicious surprise awaits all participants!

Tour Guide:
Sarah Boyer, Oral Historian, Cambridge Historical Commission Sarah Boyer, Ph. 617-349-6171 or sboyer@cambridgema.gov. See more on Sarah's audio interviews with Tip further below.

Backgrounder on Cambridge Discovery Days
The Tip O’Neill Tour is part of Cambridge Discovery Days on Saturday, Aug. 4 & 11
Discover Cambridge with free walks and events on a variety of Cambridge topics, in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Programs begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day, all across the city. No reservations are necessary for most events—simply meet the guide at the spot where the tour begins or gather at the site where an event takes place—and off you go! For more information: weekdays, contact the Historical Commission at 617- 349-4683 or histcomm@cambridgema.gov; anytime, contact the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site at 617-876-4491. For the Discovery Days tour schedule, visit: http://www2.cambridgema.gov/historic/walks.html.

Tip O'Neill Panel Discussions in September and November
The O’Neill Centennial Committee and Cambridge Public Library are planning two panel discussions for September and November 2012. The September panel would feature former Speaker O’Neill staffers sharing their memories of working for Tip O’Neill during his tenure and the November panel would be a community story trade at which members of the public would share their memories of the Speaker.

Link to Tip O'Neill Commemorative Photo Gallery *
* Please note that some captions cannot be viewed in their entirety unless you select the smallest text size view mode at the top right of the City's Website. To view captions separately in a PDF format, please click here.

Tip Talks about Growing up in North Cambridge (click on Excepts of Audio Interviews with Tip below):

On August 25, 1992, Tip O’Neill reminisced about his Cambridge childhood with Sarah Boyer, the Cambridge Historical Commission’s Oral Historian.

Excerpt 1 - Barry’s Corner

Excerpt 2 - Working in the Brickyards

Excerpt 3 - A North Cambridge Childhood

Excerpt 4 - “All Politics is Local”

Excerpt 5 - Gambling at Nelligan’s Barn

Fall 2012: Speaker O’Neill featured in Growing Up In North Cambridge

Growing Up In North Cambridge, the locally published quarterly magazine on the North Cambridge neighborhood, will dedicate a significant portion of the Fall 2012 edition to Speaker O’Neill and his close connection to his home neighborhood. The fall edition will feature first person memories of the Speaker as told by neighbors and friends who remember Tip O’Neill as a neighbor and friend in addition to being one of the most powerful elected officials in the country.

September 21, 2012 : The O’Neill Golf Tournament

The O’Neill Centennial Committee will host a golf tournament at the Thomas P. O’Neill Golf Course at Fresh Pond. The revenue raised from the tournament will benefit the collection at the Mildred O'Neill Public Library. Two apple trees in memory of the Speaker and his wife will be planted at the entrance to the Thomas P. O'Neill Golf Course as well. The entrance fee is $125 which includes access to a golf cart, greens fees, dinner buffet and commemorative gift.

Fall 2012: Dedication of North Cambridge Mural and Historic Markers

To commemorate Speaker Tip O’Neill in his beloved neighborhood, the O’Neill Committee is in the process of selecting an artist and suitable site in North Cambridge for a permanent, outdoor, public mural featuring the Speaker and important milestones of his career in public service. We believe this is a great way to highlight Speaker O’Neill’s lifelong connection to his North Cambridge neighborhood. In addition, the Committee is working in collaboration with the Cambridge Historical Commission to identify sites in the neighborhood of importance to the Speaker’s life (his former homes, Saint John’s Church, Barry’s Corner, etc) and denoting these sites with historical markers. The Historical Commission will also produce a pamphlet that would allow people to go on a self guided tour.

December 2012: Dedication of portrait at Cambridge City Hall

In conjunction with the Speaker’s 100th birthday, the Committee would cap the series of centennial events with the unveiling of an official portrait of Speaker O'Neill to be displayed at Cambridge City Hall. The program will include members of the O’Neill family in the speaking program. This event will be the culmination of the series of events dedicated to Speaker O’Neill.

Past Events
May 15 - July 15, 2012 -- O'Neill Exhibit at Cambridge Public Library
The Cambridge Public Library’s archives and special collections in conjunction with the John J. Burns Library at Boston College and the O’Neill family will feature an exhibition of key documents and photographs from Speaker O’Neill’s storied political career and personal memorabilia related to Cambridge. The exhibit will be open to the public from May 15 to July 15 in the Sakey Room on the first floor of the original Library building.

May 22, 2012 -- The Speaker Tip O’Neill Exhibit Opening & Family Reminiscence Panel
Members of the O’Neill family will take part in an enlightening conversation Tuesday, May 22, at 7 p.m., in Cambridge Public Library’s Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway. The panel will be moderated by special guest Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show and former Speaker O’Neill staffer. This panel is sure to be a fascinating view into the life and career of Speaker O’Neill and his close connection to the City of Cambridge as told by his family. Link to Event Flier


Tip O'Neill Exhibit, O'Neill Library, Level 2
Boston College,140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA
Ph. 617-552-8038

This exhibit honors Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr., Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and graduate of Boston College class of 1936. The exhibit features displays from many facets of O'Neill's life: his North Cambridge neighborhood, his BC years, his legacy as speaker, and his political campaigns. His voice can be heard over audio speakers, a television provides video clips of some of his speeches, and a computer station enables visitors to learn more about his life and legacy.

Visiting City Hall

Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

City Department Directory

Richard C. Rossi
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager