On This Day, July 18th

2. 1969: Ted Kennedy car accident on Chappaquiddick Island

Photo: masslive

Photo: masslive

Photo: woman

Photo: woman

On this day in 1969 Edward “Ted” Kennedy was attending a party on Chappaquiddick Island, near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The part was intended as a reunion for the people that had worked on Ted’s brother, Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Just after 11 p.m. Ted reportedly got in his Oldsmobile along with Mary-Jo Kopechne, 28 year old campaign specialist, to head towards the ferry line getting them back to the mainland so they could each go home. However when driving down the main road Ted apparently turned onto a dirt road that apparently led to a a private beach. Things took a turn for the worse when Kennedy missed the narrow wooden bridge and drove the Olds right into Poucha Pond. He managed to break free from the car that sank to the bottom, but he was not able to free Kopechne. Kennedy being a married man, claimed that he had made a wrong turn onto the dirt road but it was later reported that both Kennedy and Kopechne had been down this road before. It was also determined later that Kopechne had left both her purse and keys at the party. It was more than 10 hours before Kennedy finally reported the accident, leading many to believe there were attempts to cover up the whole incident.


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