The summer of 1969 was an uncommonly eventful time and we'll be looking back at a lot of 40th anniversaries in the next few weeks. Today's anniversary is an uncomfortable one for a lot of people, but it's worth remembering what happened that day:
Shortly after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy of Massachusetts drives an Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond. Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. The senator did not report the fatal car accident for 10 hours.
Kennedy got by with it, in large measure because the nation's attention was turned elsewhere, as the Apollo 11 astronauts were en route to the moon. He is now an old man, battling what is likely terminal cancer. His lifelong dream of nationalizing the health care system may now be in reach and he is fortunate that his dream wasn't already in place when he needed the care he is now receiving.
Whenever you hear anyone call Ted Kennedy the conscience of the Senate or somesuch, remember Mary Jo Kopechne.