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Edward P. "Ned" Kirby, a native of Whitman, Massachusetts, was a longtime Republican politician in the state. After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross and Boston College Law School, he joined the Army during the Korean War and served as a Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1952-1955. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives three consecutive terms from 1961-1966, representing the 5th Plymouth District. Kirby was the youngest Republican in the House when he was first elected. From 1968-1976 he served as Plymouth County Commissioner. In 1981 he was elected to the Massachusetts Senate, a seat he would hold until 1992.
With strong support from his wife, Mary Alice, Ned Kirby was influential on a number of political issues in the local area during his time in office. These included local water supply issues in multiple towns including Brockton, the Old Colony Railroad Project, nuclear power use, gay rights, and capital punishment.
This collection depicts political issues that were important in Plymouth County over roughly a 30 year period, with a focus on the Republican Party stance. Nearly all the material reflects Kirby’s time in political office. Photographs include Kirby with many different important politicians on both the state and national level. The series arrangement for this collection is primarily based on material created during the years Kirby spent in each of his political positions.