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In 1978, organizers of St. Patrick's Day parade unsuccessfully fought to shorten its route

Long-time South Boston residents are fighting a city edict to shorten this year's St. Patrick's Day parade - and vowing they will remember the mayor's role come next election.

In 1978, though, the roles were reversed: Parade organizers wanted to shorten the route but City Hall wouldn't let them.

Where today's long-route supporters note the irony of omitting Dorchester Heights - from where Revolutionary cannons forced the British to evacuate Boston at the start of the Revolution, giving us Evacuation Day - back in 1978, the Allied War Veterans Council went to court for the right to omit Dorchester Heights, which would have shortened the parade by a mile.

Unlike today, City Hall fought to keep the longer route - which at the time started at Andrew, rather than Broadway station.

Organizers decided to seek a shorter route because of "harassment of the marchers by hoodlums throwing snowballs, debris and even rocks from the heights above Thomas Park," an organizer told the Globe at the time.

They argued against unwanted "political interference" in parade planning.

But Mayor Kevin White and state Rep/City councilor Ray Flynn and state Rep. Michael Flaherty - father of the current city councilor - fought the organizers and won when a Superior Court judge declined to order the city to let organizers set the route.

White told the Globe he opposed any changes because "there's been too much change in Southie recently;" Flynn said some 1,300 South Boston resident petitioned to keep the longer route.

The Allied War Veterans more successfully argued against city interference in their parade business in the Hurley case, in which the US Supreme Court ruled the private group had the right to ban gay and lesbian groups from the parade.

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Comments

They were for the route before they were against it. Who is running that thing now, Flip Flopping Romney? I thought he was running for president again.

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Are you honestly calling someone a hypocrite because thirty-eight years ago they - and "they" is an organization here, not an individual - had a different stance on something?

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all 7 people that care about the length of the parade are vowing vengeance on the mayor

what will he do

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shorter than most.

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These fools just gave GE a huge tax break to move to Southie. Another move from this administration to stick it to families in the City.

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