The Atlantic

Chappaquiddick Is a Damning Portrayal of a Real-Life Tragedy

The film re-creates the infamous 1969 car crash that Senator Ted Kennedy was in and that ultimately led to his passenger’s death.
Source: Entertainment Studios

The 1969 Chappaquiddick incident—in which the late Senator Ted Kennedy took a late-night drive with his brother’s campaign stafferMary Jo Kopechne, drove off a bridge in Martha’s Vineyard, and fled the crash site without reporting Kopechne’s drowning for 10 hours—is the definition of an abuse of political privilege. Kennedy eventually ended up with a two-month suspended sentence for leaving the scene of an accident. His admission of guilt damaged his presidential aspirations, though he weathered the scrutiny well enough to stay in the Senate for decades, becoming a beloved

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min read
The Books Briefing: Trapped in a World That Uber Built
The seeds that could grow into the dystopias of tomorrow are being planted right now. Your weekly guide to the best in books.
The Atlantic8 min readPolitics
The Intelligence Fallout From Trump’s Withdrawal in Syria
The chaotic withdrawal from Syria will severely weaken U.S. efforts in the country—and could also be a boost for Russia and Iran.
The Atlantic5 min readSociety
A Strange New Culprit Behind Eating Disorders
Common infections such as strep throat might have a mysterious link to anorexia and bulimia.