Kissing the Blarney Stone, riding a horse through the lakes and valleys of Killarney, posing at the Giants Causeway - the Kennedy family did all this and more during trips to Ireland in the 1930s. 

In June 1963, JFK became the first sitting US president to visit Ireland. There are many gorgeous photos of the trip to Ireland, which would sadly be his last, all of them imbued with a sense of respect, awe, and history in the making. 

Photos from the Kennedy family's trips to Ireland in the 1930s could not be more different. They're the classic tourist photos that any family who's taken a trip to Ireland and seen the major attractions has: kissing the Blarney Stone, walking the streets of Dublin, posing at the Giants Causeway, riding a horse through the lakes and valleys of Killarney. Many of the photos are candid or surreptitious shots, some are blurry, smudged, or out of focus.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (center, surrounded by several unidentified people), sits on the basalt rock at Giant's Causeway in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip in 1937. Original caption read "Joe, Giants Causeway." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (center, surrounded by several unidentified people), sits on the basalt rock at Giant's Causeway in Bushmills, Northern Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip in 1937. Original caption read "Joe, Giants Causeway." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Plucked from the Kennedy family's photo albums they were digitized and stored for posterity in the archives of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. 

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy poses in front of the United States Legation in Dublin, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy poses in front of the United States Legation in Dublin, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

The greatest number of photos come from a trip Kennedy matriarch Rose took with her eldest son, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., and fourth child Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy in July and August of 1937. 

Read More: The extraordinary story of Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr - JFK's older brother who wanted to be president

Kick and Joe, Jr. with their mother Rose, on board the SS Washington en route to Ireland. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Kick and Joe, Jr. with their mother Rose, on board the SS Washington en route to Ireland. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

They made stops in Dublin, at the Dublin Horse Show and Killiney. They traveled to Blarney Castle and Garnish Island in Cork, to Killarney in County Kerry, and to the Giants Causeway in Antrim before traveling on to Scotland. 

Kathleen Kennedy (wearing hat) and Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (smoking a pipe), stand on the grass with their arms around each other outside Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Kathleen Kennedy (wearing hat) and Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (smoking a pipe), stand on the grass with their arms around each other outside Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Photos from this trip also include the kind of snaps you'd take today: of the landscape, of locals, of famous sights. 

Read More: The scandalous, rebellious, and tragic life of JFK's sister Kick remembered

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. in Killarney on a family trip to Ireland, c. 1937. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. in Killarney on a family trip to Ireland, c. 1937. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

One year later, the eldest Kennedy daughter, Rosemary, toured Ireland with family friend Betty Rice and an Irish woman named Dorothy Smyth, whom the Kennedys hired to be Rosemary's chaperone for the trip. 

Rosemary Kennedy (middle, wearing hat, holding purse) poses between Kennedy family friend, Betty Rice (right), and an unidentified woman, in front of a life preserver at Kilcroney Castle in Bray, Ireland, during a trip; writing on life preserver reads, "KILCRONEY." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Rosemary Kennedy (middle, wearing hat, holding purse) poses between Kennedy family friend, Betty Rice (right), and an unidentified woman, in front of a life preserver at Kilcroney Castle in Bray, Ireland, during a trip; writing on life preserver reads, "KILCRONEY." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

These photos of the Kennedy children smiling, laughing, enjoying the Irish countryside, are all the more poignant when you consider their moment in time.

Three years later, in 1941, Rosemary would undergo the frontal lobotomy that left her in need of constant care for the rest of her life. 

Read More: Tragic letters sent by Rosemary Kennedy to the young Irish woman who cared for her

Rosemary Kennedy (wearing hat, holding cigarette and coat) poses beside a car near Kilcroney Castle in Bray, during her trip to Ireland, 1938. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Rosemary Kennedy (wearing hat, holding cigarette and coat) poses beside a car near Kilcroney Castle in Bray, during her trip to Ireland, 1938. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

In 1944, Joe Kennedy, Jr. died while flying a secret bomber mission in WWII. 

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (second from left) sits aboard a motor boat with an unidentified woman and boy in Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip; an unidentified man (standing) operates the outboard motor at right. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (second from left) sits aboard a motor boat with an unidentified woman and boy in Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip; an unidentified man (standing) operates the outboard motor at right. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

And in 1948, Kick Kennedy perished in a plane crash en route to the French Riviera with the 8th Earl Fitzwilliam to seek approval for their marriage from her father, Joe, Sr. 

Kathleen Kennedy (second from right) poses with several unidentified people in Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Original caption read "with typical Irish Lady." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Kathleen Kennedy (second from right) poses with several unidentified people in Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Original caption read "with typical Irish Lady." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

These photos in Ireland capture more carefree and happy times and are an important testament to the enduring connection between the Kennedy family and Ireland. 

View the rest below. For more Kennedy family stories, visit our dedicated topic page

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (partially visible), leans back to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (partially visible), leans back to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Kathleen Kennedy (partially visible) leans back to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Kathleen Kennedy (partially visible) leans back to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip. Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Rose Fitzgerald leans back to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, while traveling in Blarney, Ireland, during her school year abroad in 1908 (19 years later she would get to take her children to she same spot).

Rose Fitzgerald leans back to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, while traveling in Blarney, Ireland, during her school year abroad in 1908 (19 years later she would get to take her children to she same spot).

View of Killiney Strand (Beach) in Killiney, Ireland. Original caption reads "View near Dublin." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

View of Killiney Strand (Beach) in Killiney, Ireland. Original caption reads "View near Dublin." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

View of a grocery store in Dublin, Ireland; shop sign reads "W. Kinsella, Grocery & Provisions". Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

View of a grocery store in Dublin, Ireland; shop sign reads "W. Kinsella, Grocery & Provisions". Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Two unidentified women sit on a cart pulled by a donkey in Ireland. Woman at left is partially visible; woman at right holds reins. Original caption read "Along the road." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Two unidentified women sit on a cart pulled by a donkey in Ireland. Woman at left is partially visible; woman at right holds reins. Original caption read "Along the road." Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

* Originally published in July 2019.

Kathleen Kennedy (left) rides on horseback with an unidentified woman (center) and an unidentified boy through the Gap of Dunloe in Killarney National Park, Killarney, Ireland, during a Kennedy family trip in 1937.Photographer unknown. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Kennedy Family Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston