1 / 28

Mary Jo Kopechne

Mary Jo Kopechne, shown in this undated photo, was killed after Sen. Edward Kennedy drove a car off a bridge on Massachusetts’ Chappaquiddick Island on July 18, 1969. (Photo: AP)

Chappaquiddick: A tragedy that changed the course of American history

Chappaquiddick, a new film by John Curran, recounts events surrounding the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a young woman who died in Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy’s car after it crashed on a small island off Martha’s Vineyard in the summer of 1969. Those facts are among the few certainties in a decades-long mystery. With Kennedy a favorite at the time for the Democratic nomination for president in 1972, the shadow cast by Chappaquiddick may well have changed the course of American political history.

Here’s a look back at that tragic day and its aftermath.

See FULL STORY by Christopher Wilson/Yahoo News

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.