A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 17, 2017
“To be Irish is to know that, in the end, the world will break your heart”

"To be Irish is to know that, in the end, the world will break your heart” is a paraphrase of a 1963 remark by Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), then Assistant Secretary of Labor. U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Moyniham made these remarks on WTOP radio on December 5, 1963:

“I suppose the point that cuts deepest is the thought that there may not be....You know the French author, Camus, when he came out at the end of his life, he said the world was absurd.  A Christian couldn’t think that, but the utter senselessness, the meaninglessness....

“We all of us know down here that politics is a tough game.  And I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t know that the world is going to break your heart eventually.  I guess we thought that we had a little more time.  So did he.

?This nation will never be the same after he has been President.  We are a bigger, a stronger, a better nation.  I think we know more about what it is we have to be.  I think we know somewhat more about how to be it.  It....For some of us you’ll say it won’t be the same in other ways.  Mary McGrory said to me that we’ll never laugh again.  And I said, ‘Heavens.  We’ll laugh again.  It’s just that we’ll never be young again.’”



Wikipedia: Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan (March 16, 1927 – March 26, 2003) was an American politician and sociologist. A member of the Democratic Party, he was first elected to the United States Senate for New York in 1976, and was re-elected three times (in 1982, 1988, and 1994). He declined to run for re-election in 2000. Prior to his years in the Senate, Moynihan was the United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations and to India, and was a member of four successive presidential administrations, beginning with the administration of John F. Kennedy, and continuing through that of Gerald Ford. He is currently the longest-serving Senator from the State of New York; if Chuck Schumer completes his current term, he will tie Moynihan for the record.

Wikipedia: Mary McGrory
Mary McGrory (August 22, 1918 – April 20, 2004) was an American journalist and columnist. She specialized in American politics, and was noted for her detailed coverage of political maneuverings. She wrote over 8,000 columns, but no books, and made very few media or lecture appearances. She was a fierce opponent of the Vietnam War and was on Richard Nixon’s enemies list.
(...)
Friendship with the Kennedy Family
McGrory wrote extensively about the Kennedy presidency. She and JFK were close in age, both of Irish descent and from Boston. McGrory’s exchange with Daniel Patrick Moynihan after the president’s assassination was quoted widely: “We will never laugh again,” said McGrory. Moynihan, who worked for President Kennedy responded, “Mary, we will laugh again. But we will never be young again.”

12 November 1964, San Diego (C) Union, Jack Murphy (sports editor column), pg. A-38, col. 1:
All of us Irish, or semi-Irish, are aware that sooner or later the world will break your heart; though we struggle and kick, we know it’s a losing game.

Google Books
A Thousand Days:
John F. Kennedy in the White House

By Arthur Meier Schlesinger
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin
1965
Pg. 1028:
In Washington, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the Assistant Secretary of Labor, said, “I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t know that the world is going to break your heart eventually. I guess that we thought we had a little more time...Mary McGrory said to me that we’ll never laugh again. And I said, “Heavens, Mary. We’ll laugh again. It’s just that we’ll never be young again.’”

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
14 September 1965, New York (NY) World-Telegram and The sun, “The Graduate Student” by Murray Kempton, pg. 21, col. 1:
And yet no one has remembered a few words he (Moynihan—ed.) said on television in Washington a few days after Mr. Kennedy was shot, a day of a different sort of test.

“You know,” Moynihan said then, “the French author Camus, when he came to the end of his life, he said the world was absurd. A Christian shouldn’t think like that, but the utter senselessness, the meaninglessness...We all of us know down here that politics is a tough game. And I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t think that the world is going to break your heart eventually. But I guess we thought we had a little more time. And so did he.”

4 December 1965, The Globe and Mail (Toronto, ON), “Crowded, exciting: Mural of JFK era” by John C Cairns, Book Review sec. pg. 18, col. 5:
“I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t know that the world is going to break your heart eventually,” Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that Friday night. “I guess we thought we had a little more time...Mary McGrory said to me that we’ll never laugh again. And I said, “Heavens, Mary, we’ll laugh again. It’s just that we’ll never be young again’.”

16 March 1967, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “Four Irishmen ‘Rake” British in Song” by Mary Zielinski, pt. 2, pg. 9, col. 4:
“What’s the good in being Irish, if you don’t know the world will break your heart.”

9 June 1968, The State (Columbia, SC), “The State’s Survey” by Harry R. E. Hampton, pg. 2-F, col. 6:
“There’s no point in being Irish if you don’t realize that the world will forsake you in the end.”—Mayor of the Irish town where the kennedys originate, to the late John F. Kennedy.

16 June 1968, The State (Columbia, SC), “The State’s Survey” by Harry R. E. Hampton, pg. 2-f, col. 7:
It seems that Senator McCarthy is gradually being shunted aside. As an Irish Mayor actually told President Kennedy, “There’s no point in being Irish if you don’t realize that in the end the world will break your heart.”

7 October 1971, The Jewish Advocate (Boston, MA), “The Problem and Promise of Saluting the Flag” by Leonard J. Fein, sec. 2, pg. 3, col. 2:
They say that to be Irish is to know that the world will break your heart one day. Perhaps, then, to be Jewish is to know both that the world will break your heart and that the Messiah will come.

20 April 1975, The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Intense Irish glory in despair as others seek humor in tears” by Ted Mahar, pg. 18, col. 2:
After President Kennedy was killed, Daniel P. Moynihan was interviewed on a television special and, commenting on the fact that Kennedy was aware that politics was fraught with even physical danger, uttered a brilliant summary of Irish philosophy.

Said Moynihan, “Anyway, there’s no point in being Irish if you don’t realize that the world will break your heart eventually.”

25 August 1976,The Daily Telegram (Hagerstown, MD), “Daniel Moynihan Fears The ‘New Barbarians’” by Ira Berkow, pg. 26, col.s 7-8:
He was serving as assistant Secretary of Labor when John Kennedy was assassinated.

“At the funeral, I remember saying, ‘There’s no point in being Irish if you don’t know the world’s going to break your heart eventually., But life goes on,” said Moynihan, looking out the car window.

16 January 1983, The Sun (Baltimore, MD), “Twenty Years Out” by Peter A. Jay, pg. K5, col. 6:
But the most poignant comment of all came from a writer and educator who had recently lost a nine-year-old son. “The Irish say the point of being Irish is to know that sooner or later the world will break your heart,” he wrote."Sooner or later everyone discovers this.”

Twitter
Matthew Farrell‏
@themattfarrell
“To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart.” Daniel Patrick Moynahan on the assassination of JFK.
6:03 AM - 19 Feb 2009

Twitter
Jessica‏
@NYCJessa
“To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart.” - Daniel Patrick Moynihan.  So much truth in that 16 word story.
9:57 PM - 16 Mar 2009

Google Books
Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A
Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary

By Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Edited by Steven R. Weisman
New York, NY: {ubicAffairs
2010
Pg. 14:
It’s clear from the letters that President Kennedy’s murder shattered Moynihan. Everyone of a certain age knows exactly where he or she was when the news first flashed. Moynihan took the trouble to write that note about where he was to himself. But for him the event would also be enshrined in his famous conversation with the columnist Mary McGrory, then of the Washington Star, and a close friend and neighbor. She also wrote about it in the newspaper. He went further, obtaining a transcript from radio station WTOP and keeping it in his files, as if he knew it would be recalled for the rest of his life: “I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t know the world will break your heart eventually. I guess we thought that we had a little more time...heavens, we’ll laugh again, its just that we’ll never be young again.”

Blue Collar Lit.
THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
a Christian couldn’t think that
Looking at a book of collected letters, memos, and other writing by Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1951 - 2002), read “Memorandum dictated to himself, describing his chaotic, terrible day after news of the assassination reached Washington.  William Walton was an artist and Kennedy family friend.  Charles Horsky was a prominent lawyer and White House adviser on national capital affairs.”
(...)
Following the assassination, a radio reporter from WTOP in Washington interviewed Moynihan.  Mary McGrory also wrote about their conversation in the Washington Star.  Moynihan obtained a transcript of the radio interview for his records, realizing its importance.

DECEMBER 5, 1963 [DATE OF TRANSCRIPT]

...WALKER:  “Is there any meaning you can find in what has happened?”
MOYNIHAN:  “I suppose the point that cuts deepest is the thought that there may not be....You know the French author, Camus, when he came out at the end of his life, he said the world was absurd.  A Christian couldn’t think that, but the utter senselessness, the meaninglessness....

We all of us know down here that politics is a tough game.  And I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t know that the world is going to break your heart eventually.  I guess we thought that we had a little more time.  So did he.

This nation will never be the same after he has been President.  We are a bigger, a stronger, a better nation.  I think we know more about what it is we have to be.  I think we know somewhat more about how to be it.  It....For some of us you’ll say it won’t be the same in other ways.  Mary McGrory said to me that we’ll never laugh again.  And I said, ‘Heavens.  We’ll laugh again.  It’s just that we’ll never be young again.’”

Twitter
Jay Arrington‏
@jayarrington
“To be #Irish is to know that, in the end, the world will break your heart.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan #IrishQuoteOtheDay ☘️
8:06 AM - 9 Mar 2017

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, March 17, 2017 • Permalink