My great grandmother and namesake, Elizabeth Doran, was born to Irish immigrants who came to Boston in search of a better life during the potato famine.
In 1904 she married John Buckley, who was also the son of Irish immigrants, and they took a train to Washington D.C. for their honeymoon. One of the highlights of their trip was shaking hands with President Theodore Roosevelt. Though Elizabeth admired President Roosevelt, she could not vote for him nor for any presidential candidate until 16 years later.
Elizabeth gave birth to my grandmother, Estelle, in 1906. Estelle was a passionate student and strong-minded woman who put herself through college during the Depression and became a schoolteacher. She voted for the first time in 1928 at the age of 22, and always exercised her right to vote thereafter. She was a passionate supporter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and especially of John F. Kennedy.
My grandmother often described to me the struggles of growing up Irish in Boston at a time when the Irish were openly discriminated against. She was extremely proud to cast her vote for John F. Kennedy, who also had Boston Irish roots, and said his presidency forever changed how our country viewed Irish immigrants.