TALK & OPINIONS BY SILVIO CANTO JR.

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July 18, 1969: Chappaquidick and Ted Kennedy

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On July 18, 1969, most Americans were tuned in to Apollo 11’s lunar mission.   

Over in Chappaquiddick, Senator Ted Kennedy was attending a party with friends and campaign workers:     

“Just after 11 p.m., Kennedy left the party with Kopechne, by his account to drive to the ferry slip where they would catch a boat back to their respective lodgings in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. 
While driving down the main roadway, Kennedy took a sharp turn onto the unpaved Dike Road, drove for a short distance, and then missed the ramp to a narrow wooden bridge and drove into Poucha Pond. 
Kennedy, a married man, claimed the Dike Road excursion was a wrong turn. However, both he and Kopechne had previously driven down the same road, which led to a secluded ocean beach just beyond the bridge. 
In addition, Kopechne had left both her purse and room key at the party.
Kennedy escaped the car and then dove down in an attempt to retrieve Kopechne from the sunken Oldsmobile. Failing, he stumbled back to the cottage, where he enlisted Gargan and another friend in a second attempt to save Kopechne. The three men were unsuccessful; her body was not recovered. The trio then went to the ferry slip, where Kennedy dove into the water and swam back to Edgartown, about a mile away. He returned to his room at the Shiretown Inn, changed his clothes, and at 2:25 a.m. stepped out of his room when he spotted the innkeeper, Russell Peachey. He told Peachey that he been awakened by noise next door and asked what time it was. He then returned to his room.”

To say the least, it became a huge scandal for Senator Kennedy.   It probably ended his presidential ambitions, although he did run against President Carter in 1980.

Kennedy died in 2009.

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Written by scantojr

July 18, 2017 at 11:00 am

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