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N.H. Democrats Throw A Party for JFK's 100th Birthday

Todd Bookman/NHPR

It was a festive scene inside party headquarters in Concord on Tuesday, as New Hampshire Democrats celebrated the 100th birthday of President John F. Kennedy with cake and song.

While party elders old enough to remember Kennedy sat and swapped stories, young staffers scurried around doling out chocolate cake to mark the occasion.

“What a perfect time for us to be celebrating the 100th birthday of JFK,” says NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “Because, in this real difficult time in our history, I think it is good to reflect on somebody who gave us hope, and led us with aspiration, and believing that we can be a positive force in the world.”

With photos of JFK adorning the walls, DNC Committeewoman Kathy Sullivan told the crowd his legacy continues to shape the party.

“And I hope if there is anything we can take from this birthday today is to remember that what we as Democrats, but more importantly, we as Americans, what this is about as a country is we are a country that we want to raise people up.”

During his 1960 campaign for the White House, Kennedy made numerous visits to the Granite State, including the night before the election. In an address in Manchester, he assured the crowd that “ if we are successful tomorrow, we will move New Hampshire and the country forward, and, if I am unsuccessful tomorrow, I will continue to labor for the best interests of Massachusetts, New England, and the United States.”

Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR
JFK memorabilia graced the walls inside the state's Democratic Party headquarters.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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