Chappaquiddick incident

[ (chap-uh-kwid-ik) ]

An automobile accident in 1969 that greatly affected the career of Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy of Massachusetts. A woman on Kennedy's staff drowned at Chappaquiddick Island, off the Massachusetts coast, after a car that Kennedy had been driving, and in which she had been riding, went off a bridge. Kennedy survived, but delayed informing the police, and has never provided a full explanation of the incident. Afterward, many voters lost confidence in Kennedy, who had been considered a strong possibility to be nominated by the Democratic party for president.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.