Tip O'Neill Centennial Celebration 2012 Events


Tip O'Neill

The Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Centennial Celebration

In the fall of 2011, a Special Committee was formed to properly recognize the legacy of Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill and his many contributions to the City of Cambridge. Chaired by City Councillor David Maher, the Committee was comprised of members of the O’Neill family, City officials and prominent local residents, many of whom had close ties to Speaker O’Neill. The Committee was proud to celebrate Speaker O’Neill’s legacy with a series of events that were held between May and December 2012 in honor of his 100th birthday.

If you missed some of the interesting panel discussions, 22-CityView is airing them in several time slots the weeks of Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. 

Part 1: Family Panel (1:22) starting week of Dec 10 on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun @ 1:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Part 2: Staff Panel (:58min) starting week of Dec 17 on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun @ 1:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.

Below is a recap of the events that were held this year in honor of Speaker O'Neill's Centennial. A photo gallery of some of these events will be added to this website the week of Dec. 10.

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 featured an exhibition of key documents and photographs from Speaker O’Neill’s storied political career and personal memorabilia related to Cambridge. The exhibit was 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 participated in an enlightening conversation Tuesday, May 22, at 7 p.m., in Cambridge Public Library’s Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway. The panel was 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 offered 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 

Link to Event Gallery

Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 - Cambridge Discovery Days Tour: Tip O’Neill’s North Cambridge: “All Politics is Local.”
Tour from 10-11:30 a.m. 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 below.

O’Neill Family Panel Airs Aug. 18 & 19 on C-SPAN 3
The Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Family Panel held earlier this year at Cambridge Public Library aired on C-Span 3 Saturday, Aug. 18 at 6:39 p.m. and 10:39 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 19 at 11:39 a.m. This fascinating discussion, which included three of the Speaker’s children and his grandson, was moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, and offered a unique perspective on the Speaker’s life and legacy by those who knew him best. The panel can also be watched on C-SPAN 3’s website:http://www.c-span.org/History/

Speaker O’Neill Former Staff Panel
Thursday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m., Cambridge Main Library Lecture Hall
The second of three panel discussions featured former Speaker O’Neill staffers who shared memories and stories of their experiences working for the Speaker and the impact that their time in his office had on their careers. Panelists included:
Joyce London Alexander Ford
, Retired Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Francine Gannon, Director of Constituent Services, Office of Senate President Therese Murray
Linda Melconian, Instructor, Sawyer School of Business, Suffolk University, Former Massachusetts State Senator & Majority Leader

Link to Staff Photo Gallery

Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Centennial Golf Tournament Friday,
Sept. 21,  Thomas P. O'Neill Golf Course at Fresh Pond
The O’Neill Centennial Committee hosted a golf tournament at the Thomas P. O’Neill Golf Course at Fresh Pond. Proceeds from the tournament benefited the collection at the Mildred O'Neill Public Library. Two apple trees in memory of the Speaker and his wife were planted at the entrance to the Thomas P. O'Neill Golf Course and were dedicated after the morning golf flight.  For more information, contact Paul Ryder, pryder@cambridgema.gov.

A Community Story Trade Thursday, Dec 6, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Cambridge Main Library, Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway

Link to Event Photo Gallery

This event provided a unique opportunity to hear personal memories and reflections about Speaker O’Neill from members of the Cambridge community with additional reflections from his family as well. The Community Story Trade featured neighbors, friends, former colleagues and other local residents who knew Speaker O’Neill or were impacted by his career in public service. Speaker O’Neill touched the lives of countless people, many of them Cambridge residents, and this story trade provided a chance to hear some of the special memories that have enabled the Speaker’s legacy to live on today. At the conclusion of the story trade, the official Speaker O’Neill portrait, to be on permanent display at City Hall, was unveiled.

The Community Story Trade was moderated by Dick Flavin, former Boston television personality and author of the play “According to Tip” & held in conjunction with the Editors of the local magazine Growing Up In North Cambridge.

The Unveiling of the Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill Jr. Mural
Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 Noon, Mildred O’Neill Branch Library, 70 Rindge Ave., Cambridge
Created by artists David Fichter and Joshua Winer

Prior to the unveiling, a memorial mass was offered for the Speaker at Saint John the Evangelist Church, 2254 Massachusetts Ave.

To commemorate Speaker Tip O’Neill in his beloved neighborhood, the O’Neill Committee, in conjunction with the Cambridge Arts Council, selected artists David Fichter and Joshua Winer to design and install a permanent, outdoor, public mural featuring the Speaker and important milestones of his career in public service. This mural will be a long-lasting tribute to the Speaker and will highlight his lifelong connection to his beloved 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 such as his former homes, Saint John’s Church, Barry’s Corner and other sites of significance 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.

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


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.

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