During the weekend of July 20, 1969, two events happened that changed the course of history. The most famous is the landing of Apollo 11 and the first steps ever taken by humans on the moon. Less remembered now but still consequential is then-Sen. Ted Kennedy driving his car off a bridge late at night while crossing from Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. While Kennedy survived the accident, his lone passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. Kennedy, a married senator from the closest thing 20th-century America had to a royal family, waited to even report the crash for hours. By then, Kopechne had drowned. She was 28.
Kennedy was expected to become president, following his late older brother John. The incident at Chappaquiddick forever changed that. As his character, ably played by Jason Clarke, realizes early in the cover-up, “I will never be president.”
Late on the night of July 18, 1969, a black Oldsmobile driven by U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy plunged off the Dike Bridge on the tiny island of Chappaquiddick, off Martha’s Vineyard, landing upside down in the tidal Poucha Pond. The 37-year-old Kennedy survived the crash, but the young woman riding with him in the car didn’t. Though newspaper headlines at the time identified her simply as a “blonde,” she was 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, a respected political operative who had worked on the presidential campaign of Senator Kennedy’s brother, Robert Kennedy.
Kennedy later claimed he dove repeatedly “into the strong and murky current” to try and find Kopechne before making his way back to the cottage. He then drove back to the scene with his cousin, Joseph Gargan, and aide Paul Markham, who both tried in vain to reach Kopechne. But rather than report the accident to the police at that time, Kennedy returned to his hotel in Edgartown. As a result, Mary Jo Kopechne remained underwater for some nine hours until her body was recovered the next morning.
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I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
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