On this upcoming President's Day weekend, we take some time to salute those who held the top office that were born in Massachusetts. Ironically, they all hail from Norfolk county, just south of Boston. Our state is credited with bringing us a series of colonial leaders and a quartet of commanders in chief that benchmarked the progress of our nation as a whole.

We begin with a spotlight on the first father and son who served in the White House during different eras (The 18th and 19th centuries to be exact)

John Adams
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John Adams was born in Quincy on October 30th, 1735  and became the 2nd U.S. President who was also the country's first Vice-President, second in command to George Washington (The Father of Our Country). He was elected in 1796 and began his term as the first commander-in-chief to establish permanent residence at The White House. Adams was also the sole Federalist Party candidate and was also instrumental in establishing The Declaration of Independence back in 1776. He was denied a second term in office as his political rival, Thomas Jefferson defeated him in 1800. Ironically, both men passed away on July 4th 1826, 50 years after The Declaration of Independence was implemented.

John Quincy Adams
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His son, John Quincy Adams was also born in Quincy on July 11th 1767 and became the 6th President of The United States in 1825. Like his father, he only served one term in office and was a member of the combined Democratic-Republican Party. Earlier, George Washington appointed the younger Adams as The US Ambassador for The Netherlands in Europe and was a US Senator for his home state of Massachusetts. He defeated his soon-to-be successor, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay and William H. Crawford in a contingency election which led him to The White House. After his presidency ended, Adams was a member of The House of Representatives until his passing in 1848 at the age of 80.

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Our 35th commander-in-chief, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline on May 29th 1917. Without a doubt, JFK was a native son, well loved by Bay State residents and achieved popularity worldwide. Prior to taking the top office, he was a loyal political servant to Massachusetts in both houses of the U.S. Congress. His short tenure at The White House featured attempts in repairing relations with The Soviet Union and tempering the build-up of arms in Cuba during the 1962 missile crisis. Kennedy also created the U.S Peace Corps and holds the distinction of being the first Roman Catholic commander-in-chief to take office. JFK's Presidency abruptly ended as the 46 year old was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd 1963 while riding in a motorcade with Governor John Connally. After the announcement of his passing, Vice-President Lyndon Johnson succeeded him. His Camelot style funeral was viewed worldwide as an eternal flame continues to burn at his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.

It is highly recommended that you pay a visit to The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, located just outside of Boston's city limits as his home state pays homage towards a full and rich life at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport.  His childhood home is currently under construction and will re-open to the public in the spring. We'll keep you posted.

George H.W. Bush
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George H.W. Bush was born in Milton. Our 41st commander-in-chief also served as Ronald Reagan's Vice-President from 1981 until he took the top office in 1989. Previously, The elder Bush was  Director of the CIA, a US Ambassador to the United Nations and he also was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Highlights of his two terms in office include strong policies in foreign affairs including an end to The Cold War, an invasion of Panama, a "much shorter Gulf war" in 1991 after Kuwait was quickly liberated from Iraq and he was credited with the creation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).

The Bush family frequented northern New England before, during and after his Presidency as he spent his down time on the shores of Kennebunkport, Maine until he passed away at the age of 94 back in 2018. A footnote: History repeated itself when the elder Bush and his son, George W. Bush both were commanders-in-chief just like John and John Quincy Adams (who are promptly mentioned as well in this article)

There is your President's Day history lesson as we hope you learned something new regarding some of our prestigious leaders who were born right here in Massachusetts.

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