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This Day in Norwood History-October 15, 1958-Sen. Kennedy Greets Norwood Friends On Barnstorming Tour

associate editor James T. O’Sullivan (left), looks on as editor George K. Sherlock (center) shows Senator and Mrs. a front-page story from the previous week. The headline on the October 9, Messenger reads “Senator John F. Kennedy
Will Be Here On Tuesday” (McLean Photo – colorized by the )

Throngs of Norwood well-wishers were out Tuesday to greet Senator and Mrs. John F. Kennedy in his official visit to Norwood.

Led by a police motorcade from the -Needham line, the state’s junior senator was met by a large noon-time crowd at the . The famed Ancient Corps was on hand to make the Town’s reception a rousing one.

SENATOR KENNEDY gets a sample of the fabulous Colonial Boys Ancient Fife and Drum Corps at the Town Square on Tuesday. The Senator was obviously Impressed with the musical outfit, and stayed a few minutes longer than was planned to hear them an extra tune. (McLean Photo – colorized by the Norwood Historical Society)

Senator Kennedy, pointing out the “apathy” he has noted to date as regards the coming , urged Norwood voters to . . . bring forward the fact to family and friends that this is a most important election.” He also publicly thanked Frank Foley for arranging his visit to Norwood.

After a brief talk at the Town Square, Kennedy made his way to the station where he conversed with a group of firefighters. He then went to the where he personally greeted many employees who were enjoying their lunch hour. Men and women leaned from the windows of the plant to get a glimpse of the junior senator.

THE FACT THAT the Norwood Firemen were on duty and had to stay close to the fire station did not deter them from meeting and talking to Senator Kennedy. After the Senator had finished his talk on the Town Square, one firefighter summoned the likable Kennedy with a "Hey. Jack. C'mon over here" Kennedy strolled across the street and spent a few minutes conversing with the boys. (McLean Photo, colorized by the Norwood Historical Society)
THE FACT THAT the Norwood Firemen were on duty and had to stay close to the did not deter them from and talking to Senator Kennedy. After the Senator had finished his talk on the Town Square, one firefighter summoned the likable Kennedy with a “Hey. Jack. C’mon over here” Kennedy strolled across the street and spent a few minutes conversing with the boys. (McLean Photo, colorized by the Norwood Historical Society)

Senator Kennedy and his beautiful wife Jackie then paid an informal visit to the Messenger office where they met staff .

VISITS NEWSPAPER OFFICE—Senator John F. Kennedy, a newspaperman once himself, discusses his barnstorming tour with members of the Messenger staff during visit to the newspaper office on Tuesday. Seated, left to right, are Senator Kennedy, George K. Sherlock; editor, and James T. O’Sullivan, associate editor. In the rear are William J. Vanderwal (left), advertising manager, and Francis J. Alward, assistant advertising manager. (McLean Photo – colorized by the Norwood Historical Society)

A quick lunch, and then the senator was off to Walpole and to continue his barnstorming tour throughout Norfolk County. He also appeared at a rally in Tuesday evening and is scheduled to appear at a rally in Walpole Friday evening.

In to his own interests, Kennedy urged support of the other Democratic contenders in the coming elections including AI Kahalas for ’s Councilor, and Robert Murphy for .

Senator Kennedy, in a speech delivered at the area rally in Dedham stated:

“One of Massachusetts’ most important assets — and its richest resource — is its abundant supply of highly skilled labor. Almost half of our labor force and over half of our annual payroll comes from manufacturing industries in which special abilities are needed.

“This is being recognized by more and more industries. Our labor force, despite the setbacks to our textile, leather, and fishing industries, is gradually increasing. In J950, it was 1,938,000. In . it was 2.031,000 and in , it was estimated at 2,058.-000. This increase has come largely in the electronics, rubber, electrical machinery, and plastics industries. The General Tire Plant and General Motors Training in Dedham illustrate this trend.

“Diversity of industry will enable us to weather the changes that take place in the nation’s economy. But we must have an industrial climate favorable to the of these industries. Massachusetts industry must not be placed at a competitive disadvantage.

“It will be my primary objective in the next Congress, as it has been in the past, to remove every obstacle to the development of Massachusetts industry. There are at least three areas of federal responsibility that demand immediate attention.

  1. – The freight rate differential which discriminates against Massachusetts ports must be eliminated. I have already initiated steps to have the Interstate Commerce Commission reconsider its ruling.
  2. – A permanent federal standard of unemployment compensation should be established to prevent competition among states for the reduction of benefits. The bill I introduced failed passage this year, but it will be offered again.
  3. The minimum wage law should be so revised as to reduce the wage differential between Massachusetts industries and their southern competitors. The present law. which I co-sponsored, should be reexamined in light of changes that have occurred since 1955. when it was passed.’

- October 15, 1958

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