Image result for chappaquiddick images


Hans Remembers- 50 years ago today- Friday July 18, 1969- Chappaquiddick.

  • On the evening of Friday July 18, 1969 Senator Ted Kennedy hosted a party, a reunion of sorts for some campaign workers for his brother Bobby’s ill-fated Presidential campaign of 1968. Six men were there and six women ‘the Boiler Room Girls.” At around 11:15pm Kennedy and one of the women Mary Jo Kopechne, 28 left with Kennedy. To make a long story short- Kennedy drives off the bridge, escapes from the car and leaves Kopechne in the car do die. Kennedy said he tried to rescue her. Kennedy then goes back to his hotel room. He doesn’t report the accident until 10 AM the next morning ten hours after the accident. Earlier that morning at 8am a fisherman and his son saw Kennedy’s submerged car and reported it to the authorities who came- had the car pulled out of the water and discovered. Kennedy’s answer to why he didn’t report the accident in a timely matter-he was “in shock.”

President Richard Milhous Nixon when he found out what had happened immediately sent an investigator quietly to Chappaquiddick to get all the information he could get. Nixon no doubt had been tossing and turning in The White House over the potential of having to face Senator Kennedy in the 1972 Presidential election. After losing to JFK in ’60 the Kennedy’s were always in his nightmares. Kennedy of course being a Kennedy got off with a slap on the wrist. If this was the average John Doe would he have been so lucky? He was also fortunate that there was an even bigger story going on at the time- Apollo 11 going to the Moon. I think as a presidential candidate Kennedy was always reluctant. He did run for the democratic nomination in 1980 against President Carter but lost. He would serve in the U.S. Senate until his death ten years ago. If he had been a better driver there is a good chance he could have been president. The lack of judgment that night in waiting 10 hours to report the incident in a lot of minds disqualified him from ever getting their vote. If this is how he reacts to a crisis- how would he react to a major crisis as POTUS?

Often overlooked in this story is the death of Mary Jo Kopechne- who made the fatal mistake of getting in the car with Kennedy. She was 28. She was her parents only child. They received $141,000 in an insurance settlement from Kennedy’s insurance company but that wouldn’t bring their daughter back. They never received an apology from the son of privilege. Maybe he didn’t think he had done anything wrong?

Image result for mary jo kopechne images




Ted Kennedy never grasped magnitude of Chappaquiddick


  1. I remember that case very well. The accident investigation team said that there was an air pocket in the car that would have kept her alive for 1/2 hour. Can you imagine slowly suffocating while the idle rich twiddled his thumbs?

    • Terrible what happened to her– and I don’t believe for a minute he made any chance to rescue her. A terrible way to die.

    • If he had even tried – she’d be alive today. AND it did not ruin his chance for the presidency, Mother Rose had already ordered him to stay out of that race because of his 2 brothers being killed.

  2. Thanks for this, Hans. Although I had heard of this – or at least the name Chappaquiddick – I realised today that I knew next to nothing about this story beyond it’s reference in song several songs (none of which it would seem I am overly familiar with).

    The story buried (drowned?) under the moon landings.

    • Thanks.. Yep Teddy had good timing and the family name. If his last name was Postcard he’d have been in a peck of trouble.

  3. When you are in a 1%er family you’re taught at an early age that laws are to keep the masses in line. To be so brainwashed to think of self-preservation over the life of an innocent person you put in harm’s way… never charged, never punished, no remorse. It’s like a politician’s template for conduct.

    • I was wondering if in the same situation- how would his brothers have reacted? I know the father would have acted just as Teddy did. I think you are right on the 1%. … and then the people of Massachusetts kept re-electing him. I don’t know if he was ever seriously challenged.

    • Another national shame. We need to petition to have a National Hall of Shame built so future generations can see fancy exhibits showing our errors along the way.

Comments are closed.