Michael Faith Incident
By Anna Luisa Griffith
The incident began at South Boston High. The first fights took place at a front lobby door, when a white boy let the door slam on a black girl. A black boy jumped to her defense, and the fight began. Michael Faith lunged at a black kid who was yelling insults at the white students on the stairs. The fighting started due to racial violence. What started out as a shoving match ended up with Michael Faith getting stabbed by James White, a black students from Roxbury. After the attacked, “hordes of irate "Southie" residents surged in front of the high school's imposing iron gates” (Time). They then formed an angry mob outside of the high school, trying to go after the black students. To save the black students from the mob, they distracted them with four buses while they herded the kids onto a bus and drove them back to the safety of Roxbury.

“Education: Southie Boils Over.” Time. Time Inc. 1974 Dec. 23. Web. 2010 Jan. 6.

Rabbit Inn Incident
By Anna Luisa Griffith
Most of the violence and racial tensions seemed to come from the opposition of forced busing and the fact that public schools in Boston were now desegregated. The desegregation and busing had gone for four weeks, with fear of violence erupting any time soon. Much of the violence due to racial confrontation took place on a street called Dorchester Street, a four-lane thoroughfare that is a main street of South Boston. Rabbit Inn happened to be located on this very street. One night, Tactical Patrol Force officers burst into the Rabbit Inn, and raided the place where eight officers were injured. There was some speculation that “the T.P.F. raid was an outright reprisal for the previous night's incident” (Time). The previous night, there was another incident where one of Southie’s Irish resident threw a brick at a cruising T.P.F. squad car. The brick went right through the squad car’s windshield. The officers tried to arrest the suspect, but they lost the man in the crowd because two dozen Southie toughs assaulted the officers. Despite the accusations that the raid of the Rabbit Inn was retaliation to this incident, the T.P.F. claimed they were just answering a distress call they received.

“Boston: From the Schools To the Streets.” Time. Time Inc. 1974 Oct. 21. Web. 2010 Jan. 6

National Boycott Day
By Anna Luisa Griffith
National Boycott Day took place in early October on a Friday. It was the day that everyone boycotted school. During National Boycott Day, there was usually a rally and a march. The national anthem was sung during the march. The marches on National Boycott Day started out as a march to restore alienated rights for the Irish of the Southie. Soon, however, the marches began to turn towards racial tensions as the signs in the marches began to read more racial statements. One time during National Boycott Day, “crowds gathered at Darius Court once again to taunt the police and to throw rocks at the buses” (MacDonald 87). The incident led to police chasing a man into the Rabbit Inn. The next night after this, a large mob once again gathered at Darius Court and rushed the police after accusations that the T.P.F. were beating people in the Rabbit Inn. A violent riot then broke out between the mob and the police.

MacDonald, Michael Patrick. All Souls. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 1999. Print.

Whitey Bulger
By Anna Griffith
James Joseph Bulger Jr. was known as Whitey Bulger. He was the alleged leader of an Irish-American crime family called the Winter Hill Gang, which also had a small Italian-American faction. His crime family was based in Boston, Massachusetts. Whitey was 14 when he was first arrested for larceny in 1943. At the time he was 14, “he was associated with a juvenile street gang known as the Shamrocks” (Wikipedia). His criminal life began at a young age. Whitey went on to be arrested several more times for varying reasons such as assault and battery, armed robbery, and forgery. Whitey began to befriend Howie Winter, the leader of the Winter Hill Gang at the time. Whitey was in control of the rackets in South Boston by 1973. Once the gangland war was over he removed opposition by using his influences to convince Howie Winter to sanction killings. He took leadership of the gang in 1979.

“James J. Bulger.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 2010 Jan. 1. Web. 2010 Jan. 7.

Irish Mob

By Alexandra Pietrangeli

The Irish mob has been around for a long stretch of time, perhaps on of the oldest organized crime groups in America. Not only that, but its influences has spread throughout many cities throughout the country, specifically Boston, Massachusetts. “Boston has a well-chronicled history of Irish mob activity, particularly in heavily Irish-American neighborhoods” (“Irish Mob”). One of the main areas that homed many Irish mafia members was “Southie”, or South Boston (“Irish Mob”). This area of Boston and other sections of the state, such as Dorchester or Roxbury, happened to be where some of the first Irish-American gangsters emerged onto the scene (“Irish Mob”). Many came together due to the initiation of Prohibition, this causing many gang wars to erupt within those main areas of the Massachusetts area (“Irish Mob”). These wars would later lead to the decline of the Irish mob within their main areas, showing an immense decline in Irish Mafioso members (“Irish Mob”). Despite an immediate decline due to these wars, many trace of the mob continue to exist to this day.

“Irish Mob.” Wikipedia.org, 2009. Web. 31 December 2009.

Irish Immigration to America


By Alexandra Pietrangeli

Irish Immigration was rare to see when concerning the mass of foreigners that made their way into this country under any means necessary. Even so, due to terrible misfortune, many had to escape the confines of the country. “In 1845, the great potato rot struck, eliminating the sole sustenance of most peasants” (“The Irish”). As this famine thrust many into helpless starvation, thousands were said to have perished (“The Irish”). Many found the only way of escaping such destitute times, was to emigrate (“The Irish”). The rates of Irish immigrants skyrocketed, nearly 2 million making their way over to America within the 1840s (“The Irish”). Even so, emigration was hard on many immigrants, as most were poor and had brought no resources to better their lives within the country (“The Irish”). Many peasants took up jobs helping building canals, in order to help feed and house their families (“The Irish”). In the years after 1860, Irish immigration continued but ended before the beginning of the 20th Century, over two million having become legal American citizens within that time (“The Irish”).

“The Irish.” Thinkquest.org, 2007. Web. 24 July 2007.

Busing of 1974 in Southie


By Alexandra Pietrangeli

Aside from gang activity, racial disturbance also inhabited Massachusetts. This disturbance turned even worse when the idea of school integration was announced on June 21, 1974. “Garrity ordered students to be bused city-wide to integrate the two separate school systems, many Boston residents anticipating trouble” (“School Desegregation”). Schools within Boston and Southie, nearly a mile apart, were forced to integrate into one school system, despite much opposition from white residents (“School Desegregation”). This situation only grew worse when a group of black students, riding the bus to their new school’s location, were verbally attacked in September of that same year (“School Desegregation”). These riots not only targeted African-American students, but the politicians who helped implement the idea, such as Edward Kennedy, previously an Irish community favorite (“School Desegregation”). The violence continued, due to sheer white persistence to have the integration decision pulled (“School Desegregation”). The situation did not stabilize for another three years, around the time a black school committee member was elected (“School Desegregation”).

“School Desegregation in Boston: 1974.” Pbs.org, 2006. Web. 23 August 2006.

Michael Patrick MacDonald

By Alexandra Pietrangeli

Michael Patrick MacDonald, a man born and raised in South Boston, dealt with a harsh lifestyle while growing up within a predominately Irish area of Massachusetts. Not only has he commemorated this lifestyle through his book All Souls, but is trying to change his hometown for the better. “MacDonald became a leading Boston activist” (“Michael Patrick MacDonald”). MacDonald, having lost four siblings and seeing his hometown at its most destitute, began to rally anti-violence (“Michael Patrick MacDonald”). Many of these programs deal with instruments that issue violence, such as firearms in which he helped by implementing the gun-buyback program (“Michael Patrick MacDonald”). MacDonald continues with this work up until this day, working for social change within his community (“Michael Patrick MacDonald”). Macdonald is not alone in his struggle for social change within South Boston and beyond, as many families and young people help him towards his personal goals (Michael Patrick Macdonald”). With support and will, MacDonald continue to put forth effort in making Southie and the state of Massachusetts a safer place for its residents,

“Michael Patrick MacDonald.” Michaelpatrickmacdonald.com, 2009. Web. 25 November 2009.

Ray Flynn
By Alexandra Pietrangeli

Raymond Flynn served as Mayor of Massachusetts for approximately nine years. That is until Flynn moved up in the ranks, tackling problems more inclined to his beliefs. “He was later appointed United States Ambassador by President Bill Clinton” (“Raymond Flynn”). From 1993 to 1997, Flynn served this position, all the while trying to get the initiative over issues affecting his personal opinions (“Raymond Flynn”). A life-long pro-life activist, Flynn was a key instrument in drawing the pro-life, Catholic vote to a pro-choice governor (“Raymond Flynn”). Flynn continued on with his work, now having left behind his post as governor of Massachusetts, until his run for Massachusetts’ 8th congressional district seat (“Raymond Flynn”). Flynn unfortunately failed in this attempt, haven been beaten out by Joseph Patrick Kennedy II in 1998 (“Raymond Flynn”). As of now, Flynn continues to associate himself in political advocacy groups, mainly Catholic, in order to continue his political stature (“Raymond Flynn”).

“Raymond Flynn.” Wikipedia.org, 2010. Web. 05 January 2010.

Connor Murphy
external image Roxbury_Massachusetts_Town_Hall.png
The area of Roxbury was settled in about 1630 for the purpose of being an independent community. The settlers of Massachusetts put down 6 villages with one of them later become Roxbury. “Roxbury had many resources the colonists were looking for: open farmland, timber and stone for building, and the Stony Brook for water power. Additionally, its location on the only road to Boston gave the town an advantage in transportation and trade and a strategic military position. Roxbury was defined by its rocky hills, drumlins left by a prehistoric glacier” (Boston Land Marks Commission 1849). The area a perfect choice to live as it had many advantages to using that land because the rocky hills and drumlins left by the glaciers. The area started to grow after the Revolutionary war was fought and the farmland started to divide and become homes to families. Soon the Industrial Revolution came and the marshes soon began to sport the factories and warehouses. The area of Roxbury needed municipal services and voted to become a city 1846 and later integrated into Boston in 1868.

Roxbury, Boston. Wikipedia.org, 2009. Web. December 26, 2009.

Connor Murphy
external image dorchester_town.jpg
This area is as almost as old as the county itself and for 200 years was never a part of Boston until the mid to late 1800s. The area was settled in about 1630 and held its own for 200 years until they joined Boston. The area had a road system that has survived up to now and only had improvements and not ignored. In the 19th century the railroad tracks have tied the area closer and closer to Boston. The Old Colony Railroad stops near the suburban area transformed the area with hilltops bearing houses. That is however the major extent of the area as it becomes a residential area in Boston in about 1870ish. The area has been called home by many of its people including speakers of the house and mothers of Presidents.

Dorchester, Boston. Wikipedia.org. 2009.Web. January 6, 2009

Connor Murphy
external image 6323_Mattapan-Square-e5.jpg
The Area of Mattapan has had a diverse living community in it over it’s long years of use. The Native Americans have played host to that land for several hundred years and were forced to give up or share it with the new European settlers. They have had Irish, Jewish and Haitian and now made up mostly of African Americans. The AA and Caribbean Americans have risen to over 77% of the total people living there. When this started in 1968 the whites didn’t like that so they decided to do something about it. They made the value of the area to drop and then bought the area and rented the houses out to the ones they didn’t like with prices that were way above average and forcing them to move out.

Mattapan, Massachusetts. Wikipedia.org. 2009. December 4 2009.

Southie (or known as South Boston)

Connor Murphy
external image WestBroadway_DorchesterSt.jpg
4.The Area of Southie (South Boston) is at the bottom of Boston south of Fort Point Channel and abutting to Dorchester. For while it was called Dorchester Neck, but has been called Southie by its working class residents. The primary residents are hard working Irish American working class that makes up most of the area. In march 17 1776 George Washington personally fired a cannon to force the British troops to retreat. The city of Boston started the American Revolutionary war pretty much single-handed with the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party.

South Boston, Boston. Wikipedia.org. 2009. Web. January 7 2010.

Old Colony Housing Project
Connor Murphy
The Old Colony Housing Project is located on East Ninth Street in South Boston. IT came about in 1941 by the Boston Housing Authority and has since become its oldest development. Kevin Weeks grew up who was a friend and confident to James J. Bugler an Irish American crime boss. Michael Patrick McDonalds grew up there where he based his book All Souls: A Family Story From Southie.

Old Colony Housing Project. Wikipedia.org. 2009. Web. November 17 2009.