This oil painting hangs in the Governors Office in the gold domed Boston State Capital Building. It was front page news around the country on April 1, 1964 when the governor’s 72 year old mother, Mary Parkman Peabody, was arrested at the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida for attempting to be served in an integrated group at a racially segregated restaurant. This made Mrs. Peabody a hero to the civil rights movement, and brought the efforts in St. Augustine—the nation’s oldest city—to national and international attention. The story of her arrest is told in many books including one by her arrest companion Hester Campbell, called Four for Freedom.
An All-American star defensive lineman for the Harvard football team, he was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was a grandson of the founder of the Groton School and Brooks School, also named Endicott Peabody. He ran for political office unsuccessfully in Massachusetts several times. In 1962 he was elected Governor, upsetting Republican Governor John Volpe by 4,431 votes out of over 2 million cast. He served a single two-year term, but in 1964, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Lieutenant Governor Francis X. Bellotti. In 1966 he ran for a seat in the United States Senate and lost by a wide margin to then-state Attorney General Edward Brooke. Also during the United States presidential election, 1960 he coordinated John F. Kennedy’s Presidential campaigns in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire