By Ellen de Saint Phalle, Member, Board of Directors, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy
May 24, 2017: Bronxville's annual Memorial Day celebration and parade will include a special tribute to former village resident decorated World War II naval officer and 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy.
Memorial Day Monday, May 29, is also Kennedy's centennial birthday. Mayor Mary Marvin, the village trustees, and members of the board of The Bronxville Historical Conservancy invite the community to join them for a dedication ceremony on the village hall lawn following the parade. The dedication will be the first official recognition that Bronxville was home to President Kennedy's family for more than a quarter of JFK's life.
From 1929 to 1941, the Kennedy family lived in Crownlands, a six-acre estate on Pondfield Road. That homestead was demolished and the land subdivided in the 1950s, well before anyone could have assumed its historic value.
Conservancy members Peter Hicks, Marilynn Hill, Jayne Warman, and Anderson Kenny formed a commemoration committee with Mayor Marvin and Village Administrator Jim Palmer to recognize the Kennedy family's time in the village and add Bronxville to the national roster of Kennedy homes.
Consulting with the National Archives and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the committee commissioned the Franklin Foundry in Pennsylvania to create a large bronze plaque. Historian Hill composed the extensive text detailing the Kennedy family's twelve years in the village. A piece of Tuckahoe marble from the historic quarries once owned and operated by two Bronxville founding families, Masterton and Morgan, was made available through the efforts of Tuckahoe's Mayor Steve Ecklond and the Town of Eastchester. The iconic JFK profile minted on the 1964 post-assassination commemorative half dollar is also included in the design.
Following the wreath-laying ceremony at the flagpole and the mayor's address at The Bronxville School, the parade will continue to the village hall lawn, where the historic marker will be unveiled and Bronxville will officially recognize its hometown president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Pictured here: At top: Several of the Kennedy children while living in Bronxville. Photo from the Kennedy Family Photograph Collection, courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation; photographer unknown; in text: flyer for the dedication ceremony, courtesy Village of Bronxville.