Robert F. Kennedy St. Patrick’s Day parade photo found — 50 years later

Alex MacDonald holding a photograph of his encounter with Robert F. Kennedy at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston in 1968. –Peter Simon

Alex MacDonald says his friends have never completely believed one of his favorite dinner-party stories: At 18, he shook the hand of Robert F. Kennedy when the US senator marched with his brother Ted Kennedy in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston.

Now, on the 50th anniversary of the encounter, MacDonald, a lawyer raised in Dorchester, finally has proof.

Hoping to find a photograph of RFK marching in the parade — held the day after Kennedy announced his presidential bid and three months before his assassination — MacDonald e-mailed archivists at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. A few days later, they replied with all of the museum’s images of the parade — and one included MacDonald’s brief brush with greatness.


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