CHAPPAQUIDDICK: The Memory That Would Not Fade

From a sailboat offshore, two men and a woman swam to the beach on Chappaquiddick Island one recent afternoon. Some startled fishermen—and Edgartown Police Chief Jessie J. Oliver III—recognized one of the trio as Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Two days before he was to announce his withdrawal as a candidate for President in 1976, there was Kennedy walking meditatively on the island where his White House hopes foundered five years ago.

Kennedy claimed that his withdrawal was chiefly motivated by concern for his family. But the Chappaquiddick affair, in which Mary Jo Kopechne...

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