In 1932, on this day Edward Moore Kennedy, the thirty-eighth President of the United States (pictured), was born at St Margaret's Hospital in Dorchester, Massachusetts on the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington.
And the last shall be first"Ted" seemed to be exempt from the so-called "Kennedy Curse" cheating death twice before his election in 1972.
On June 19, 1964, Kennedy was a passenger in a private Aero Commander 680 from Washington to Massachusetts that crashed on final approach into an apple orchard in bad weather, in the western Massachusetts town of Southampton. The pilot and Edward Moss, one of Kennedy's aides, were killed. Kennedy was pulled from the wreckage by fellow Senator Birch E. Bayh II and spent months in a hospital recovering from a severe back injury, a punctured lung, broken ribs and internal bleeding.
"And the Last Shall be First" - inscription on a silver cigarette case given to Ted by JFK on his inauguration day.Five years later, fate intervened for the second time after a cookout held on Chappaquiddick Island. Being a gentleman, Kennedy had graciously offered to drive Mary Jo Kopechne back to the midnight ferry for Edgartown. Taking a wrong turn in the dark, Kennedy drove off a bridge and into Poucha Pond.
The car, a late model Oldsmobile with a curb height overall of about four feet, was lying on its crushed-in top and the wheels were out of water at low tide. Fortunately, high tide at Edgartown that night came at 3:54 A.M., and its rise and fall is only 2 feet. In his famous biography "Profiles in Courage, Part 2" Kennedy would later claim that after freeing himself, he dove into the Pond at "risk to his own life" to save Mary Jo. Given the shallowness of the water, it would probably be more appropriate to refer to wading and stooping. Still, charisma was in short supply in 1972, and America desperately needed a legend to lead the nation out of the bitter defeat of Vietnam.