Ep. 23: Pale and Frail: The Kennedy Curse
Join us this week from another one of Emma's family closets as Shannon regales us with the story of Camelot. Well, the Kennedy Camelot, all its twists and turns and the curse that hangs over them all. Is it really a curse, a testosterone-fueled urge to take risks, or just a whole lot of bad luck from a whole lot of gold coins? Come find out!
Speaker A: Hello.
Speaker B: Hi.
Speaker A: I'm Shannon.
Speaker B: I'm Emma.
Speaker A: And welcome to this podcast doesn't exist.
Speaker B: Hi.
Speaker A: Hello. You just look so funny. Um, where are you joining us from this week?
Speaker B: This week, I am, um, once again in my parents house. But this time, I am in my bedroom closet. Um, there are workmen downstairs who are fixing my parents kitchen cabinets. So if you hear some ambient knocking noises or some of their, uh, rocking tunes because they're listening to, like, 1960s BOP music. Like, it's really good, but it's also, like, a little too loud. So if you hear anything, that's it. That's why. Um, but I figured being in my closet was a little more me.
Speaker A: I love your closet tour. When you get back, find other closets to record it.
Speaker B: Absolutely. Well, we still got Liam. His is a full walk in, so his closet would be actually probably a better choice. Why didn't I use that?
Speaker A: Well, too late.
Speaker B: It seems empty now.
Speaker A: You can always move after we're done recording this one. That's complete the tour.
Speaker B: Complete the tour. Yeah.
Speaker A: Gotta catch them all.
Speaker B: Gotta catch, uh, them all. Uh, I never watched Pokemon. Sorry.
Speaker A: That's okay. But you did some random singing, which means that our friends at home, if they've downloaded our bingo card, can cross that off if you're like. What a bingo card? What is happening? You can visit our Instagram, which is at this podcast doesn't exist. Click that little link in Bio, and right at the top, you'll see a link to your very own this podcast doesn't exist bingo card. It's a fun time. Our friends play along at home if they're not driving or other such important things. And if you get bingo, or even if you don't screenshot it, tag us, share it. We'd love to see it.
Speaker B: Absolutely. You can also see all of the photographs that we have for every episode on, um, our Instagram, as well as some of our fan art. We have a lovely friend who does some wonderful graphic design. Um, and they have made us some beautiful things. So you'll want to go and see that on our Instagram, but you can also send us your own stories and maybe even your own graphic design decisions to our Gmail at this podcast doesn't email@example.com. We love hearing ghost stories. Well, I love hearing ghost stories. Shannon distinctly does not, but muddles through quite well. Um, but we want to know what your conspiracy theories are, what ones you believe in, what ones you find funny, but like, you know, want to hear us talk about. Any suggestions for podcast episodes, all that fun stuff, go ahead and send us an email. We love to hear it. And we also have what are they called? Mailbag episodes. Mailbag episodes. I was going to call them fan favorites, but that's not it. Mailbag um, episodes. So if you've got a story and you want us to tell it on the podcast, send it to us. We want to read it.
Speaker A: Absolutely. And you can be anonymous if you want.
Speaker B: Yeah, you don't have to tell us.
Speaker A: Attached to the story. We can do that for you. We aim to please. We aim to serve. Um, we love that. While you're at it, while we're doing some housekeeping, if you could rate, review, and subscribe on whatever platform you're listening to, we would really appreciate it. Share with a friend. Spread the love. That'd be awesome.
Speaker B: Share with an enemy. Spread the love. Scare them like I scare Shannon. Make them cry. Wow.
Speaker A: This got really aggressive really quick. I came out to have a good time. I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now.
Speaker B: But I'm not attacking you.
Speaker A: You say that.
Speaker B: Okay. I make this promise, and I make it right now in front of all of our friends, in front of Charlie specifically, because I've told him this as well. I promise that I will not scare you with another episode for another two months. Wow. Yes.
Speaker A: This is such a good birthday gift.
Speaker B: You're welcome. Yes. Uh, this coming Monday, March 22, is our beautiful Shannon's birthday. I think you're welcome.
Speaker A: Giving away all my personal information oh, don't say my Social Security number.
Speaker B: I don't know.
Speaker A: It good.
Speaker B: But it is your birthday soon, and people should know that and wish you a happy birthday. Go wish Shannon a happy birthday on our Instagram through our email. However you want to rate, review, and subscribe for her birthday.
Speaker A: Yes, I accept new subscriptions and high streaming numbers as birthday gifts.
Speaker B: Absolutely. Yeah. So, yes, happy birthday to our Shannon. And you're welcome for your early birthday gift. Too much, man.
Speaker A: Thank you so much.
Speaker B: Um, no more crying.
Speaker A: Thank you. Well, you say that, but who knows?
Speaker B: I don't know. That portion is on you. I don't intend to make you cry.
Speaker A: So hopefully it'll be tears of laughter.
Speaker B: Exactly. Yes. Good tears. Precisely. Yeah.
Speaker A: All right, Emma, we have a lot to get to.
Speaker B: Yes. I'm so sorry.
Speaker A: It's okay. No apologies needed. I just want to dive right in. I'm, um, very excited in my notes document. Usually I like to have a little tie in, a little jokey joke at the beginning. Today, my podcast doc is just at the top. It just says intro, question mark. Question mark. So we're just going to jump right in. I have no jokey joke. So that was the intro tech.
Speaker B: Yay. Well done.
Speaker A: All right, so, Emma, today we are going to talk about or I'm going to tell you about the Kennedy curse.
Speaker B: Yay. Oh, wow. This is going to be a long episode.
Speaker A: Well, when we get towards the end, we do a little bit of a Wikipedia wrap up because, spoiler alert, friends, uh, a lot has happened to this family.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: So we're going to do a little brief overview at the beginning, and then we're going to get into it.
Speaker B: Deep dive do I need to buckle in? I don't want to buckle into that car.
Speaker A: Yes, there's a lot of transportation, uh, methods that are maybe not ideal.
Speaker B: Okay, I'm going to buckle into my own go cart. Is that okay?
Speaker A: Sure.
Speaker B: Great. How do you buckle into a go cart? Is it across the hips.
Speaker A: Situation in.
Speaker B: Case you don't go rocketing out? Okay. I don't know. There we go. Done.
Speaker A: Great. So, for those of you who may not be aware, which I feel like is few of you, but for the sake of trying to be fully well researched on this podcast lol. Um, we're going to just do a little overview. So the Kennedy family, some would argue, is the closest thing that the United States ever had to a royal family in terms of public attention and hype and all of that kind of stuff. So the Kennedys were wealthy, classy, and heavily involved in politics, even up to this day, like to the current times.
Speaker B: Mhm, I forget that other Kennedys exist. Sorry, but I do.
Speaker A: There are literally so many.
Speaker B: There are thousands.
Speaker A: There are so many. So the Kennedy family originally emigrated from Ireland in 1849. They were Irish Catholics, which means they have a lot of kids.
Speaker B: Woo.
Speaker A: And they were opposed to Protestantism, which will become mildly important later on.
Speaker B: Oh, okay.
Speaker A: So from its earliest days, the Kennedy family was involved in US. Politics. Patrick and his wife Bridget were the first married Kennedy couple to come to the United States. And their youngest son, Patrick Joseph, nicknamed PJ. Kennedy, went into business and served in the Massachusetts state legislature from 1884. Also, I would recommend for this podcast, if you're like me, when I'm listening to audiobooks or podcasts where a lot of names are mentioned, I get a little confused. And it's extra confusing because the Kennedys like to reuse names because they Irish Catholic. Yes. So if you get confused, I would recommend googling like a family tree. Just, I try and be clear about seniors versus juniors versus for seconds and thirds in this, but just in case. So, PJ. Kennedy was the first of their, um, family to serve in US. Politics from 1884 to 1895. PJ and his wife, Mary Augusta Hickey, were children. No, they were once children, but they were parents to four children. The oldest of these four was Joseph Patrick Joe Kennedy SR. Okay, so he made lots of money in banking and security trading, which I, uh, wrote in my notes, parentheses, whatever that means. Security is trading.
Speaker B: Charlie would know. I have no clue.
Speaker A: So throughout his career, he was appointed by President FDR as the first chairman of the securities and Exchange Commission, the chairman of the Maritime Commission, and the US. Ambassador to the United Kingdom in the lead, um, up to World War II. So obviously he didn't have all those jobs at the same time, but throughout his career, he served in those various positions.
Speaker B: That's kind of cool.
Speaker A: And he, in fact, Joe Kennedy Senior, he at one point entertained the notion of running for president himself. This is a little quote for Vanity Fair in 119 thousand 40, before Franklin Roosevelt announced his candidacy for a third term, kennedy, then the ambassador to Great Britain, was often mentioned in the papers as one of the half dozen men likely to win the Democratic nomination. So he was probably going to run for president. And then FDR was like, yo, I'm going to flip the script and I'm going to run for a third term. And the country was like, yeah, we trust this guy.
Speaker B: So we've had them for long enough, might as well keep them.
Speaker A: So Joe Senior never made a run for the White House, but he definitely had this passion for politics. So Joseph P. Kennedy Senior and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald, who was the eldest daughter of Boston's mayor, were the parents of nine children.
Speaker B: Oh my gosh, I forgot this.
Speaker A: There's so many of them. It's true. And it's this family unit. Joe Senior and Rose and their nine children, it's this um, family unit and its descendants that rose to such public knowledge in a claim, many of them became victims of the so, um, called Kennedy Curse. So in many sources, Rose is described as an aloof and distant mother, like rarely hugging or nurturing her children, which I think is interesting, especially given the time, um, period. So after the births of her two eldest sons, she actually returned to her parents home in Boston and just left her children with the hired help.
Speaker B: Um, something was happening in her brain.
Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, postpartum depression, it's real for sure.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: So at first, everyone kind of just pretended like nothing was wrong because that's the time period.
Speaker B: Mental health doesn't exist.
Speaker A: Oh, just wait.
Speaker B: I know.
Speaker A: So after several weeks, however, her father sent her back, quote, to where she belongs. So back home to her husband and her children. And apparently Rose was resentful of this, which I, um, think could make sense. She's been the eldest daughter of the mayor, so she's been kind of this social butterfly about town and now she's expected to be at home and not the center of attention really anymore. So understandable. And she turned um, her attention to her growing family, which she viewed as her, quote, new enterprise. Which is very interesting. I think I've tried to kind of highlight these moments throughout this whole story, um, throughout this whole history of the very calculated nature of this family's behavior at various points, which I think is very interesting to say the least. So in contrast to Rose, the senior Joe Kennedy was actually very engaged as a parent, especially for the standards of that time. He met with his children's teachers, he knew their study habits, he knew their friends. And um, I just thought that was an interesting discrepancy from maybe what you would expect.
Speaker B: Yeah. It may also be this is me knowing a little bit about this, but it might be a control thing.
Speaker A: Yes. I would say to an um extent in that he knows what's happening with them. It is very interesting. One of the articles that I read was more of a deep dive into the family life of, um, kind of the original nine and their parents. And it talked about when Joe SR. Was the presiding head of the table at family dinners. He was asking about friends or about school and when it was their mother, rose, it was more like reprimands, about behavior, like decorum kind of stuff.
Speaker B: Interesting.
Speaker A: And now we're going to get into what I've titled a list of tragedies.
Speaker B: Oh, no.
Speaker A: Yeah. So the series of unfortunate events begins with a tragedy that is essentially, at least in part of the family's own making. In 1918, the couple's eldest daughter, rose Marie, nicknamed Rosemary.
Speaker B: I like that.
Speaker A: That's a nickname I'm like. You just changed the inflection, but okay, I get it. Rosemary is a little easier to say than rosemary. Sure. But rosemary, um, kennedy was born in 1918. Unfortunately, the doctor that was meant to assist with the birth was running late, and the nurse that they had on hand was inexperienced and or ill informed. And she told rose to keep her legs shut to keep the baby inside, which meant that baby Rosemary was in the birth canal for nearly 2 hours and was deprived of oxygen while they waited for the doctor. And this judgment call, unfortunately, left the newborn with permanent challenges throughout her life. So she was developmentally delayed, struggling to learn to walk, speak, read, etc. E at what was kind of the acceptable rate of a typical child. And, um, while the Kennedy family did seek out specialized care for her, they sent her to a specific boarding school. She got individualized study with tutors and various helping kind of people. They did not acknowledge her learning or developmental differences publicly. It was, like, a shameful thing. They didn't want to talk about it. Yes, it would be sad if it was just like, oh, we're just, um, not really going to acknowledge that this is the lived experience of our child, but they also just straight up lied about what was going on. So her mother just, like, pretended nothing was amiss. Her parents, rose and, uh, Joe senior, they told women's day, like, the publication, that their daughter Rosemary was studying to become a kindergarten teacher and that she had all these plans. Like, you straight up wide.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: And I don't know why you would do that, because based on everything that she was displaying, it was not like she was going to catch up and be at that level. So it's not like she could just fulfill the live image. Why wouldn't you just say, like, oh, our daughter's very private, she's very shy. Like, she doesn't want to be out.
Speaker B: And about, I guess, because they're hoping that every kid has their own accomplishment, that they can be like, look, see, having nine kids is fine. I guess having nine kids is fine. You can have as many children as you want. I just can't imagine it. It's a lot of attention.
Speaker A: Yeah, it's true. I mean, they did, um, have a living, like, made and cooked.
Speaker B: Yeah. That feels necessary.
Speaker A: True. And then, um, here's just this quote that just breaks my heart. Diaries written by her. So by Rosemary in the late 1930s and published in the Reveal a young woman whose life was filled with outings to the opera, tea dances, dress fittings, and other social interests. So she wasn't just a lump on a log.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: She wasn't coming out and about.
Speaker B: Yeah. And obviously, if she's writing about it and is reliving the experience through writing about it, obviously she enjoyed it.
Speaker A: Right, exactly.
Speaker B: She could have been, like, a sweet, uh, little socialite for an entire life. That would have been so sweet.
Speaker A: In 1938, Rosemary was presented to the Queen of England as a part of her father's service as the US. Ambassador to the UK.
Speaker B: It just reminds me of Bridger today.
Speaker A: Well, exactly. She was named, like, debutante, um, of the season or something like that. And I literally almost wrote down that, um, fact and wrote like she was the diamond of the season. She reportedly, um, practiced her royal courtsy for hours, only to trip and nearly fall during the actual event.
Speaker B: Oh, no.
Speaker A: But apparently Queen Liz and King George did not acknowledge the Foible. They just kept smiling like nothing was wrong, which I think is very charming. And so they were just like, you're doing good, sweetie.
Speaker B: That's Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars moment of, like, you just got to recover. You just got to stand up, smile.
Speaker A: Truly. So, uh, by age 23, rosemary's behavior was still very erratic and unpredictable. At times, she would throw, um, tantrums. She was also prone to having seizures just because of her from birth. Um, she was faced with challenges because of that traumatic birth, but the family feared that these outbursts would cause bad press. Bring shame upon the family. Guys, Emma's rolling her eyes back.
Speaker B: Dishonor on your cow.
Speaker A: Truly. There might be an earthquake in Williamsburg. Based on Emma's Eye role. Um, so because they were concerned about her behavior, they decided that she would undergo this new procedure, which is a prefrontal lobotomy. In the time, this very dangerous procedure was thought to be helpful in curing a variety of mental illnesses, which yeah, if you cut through part of someone's brain, it'll take care of a lot of things, like their personality.
Speaker B: Yeah. You scramble their frontal lobe, you end up with not a person.
Speaker A: Indeed. I'm not going to go, uh, into the graphic details, but my favorite Murder, recently did an episode about the doctor who designed this procedure, which, no surprise to anyone, has now been disproven as any sort of medically sound situation. So if you want to check that out, um, it's in the show notes, and you can learn about that.
Speaker B: Uh, I can't even describe how I'm feeling right now, because that is literally one of the worst things I've ever heard, because I do know how they do that. I'm not going to talk about it right now because it is very graphic, but it's that just makes my, uh, whole body want to crinkle up into a ball.
Speaker A: Well, it made me even more mad, because a lot of the sources about Rosemary Kennedy, they describe her as, like, having a procedure or undergoing this procedure. No, it was a nonconsensual lobotomy.
Speaker B: They were trying to, quote, unquote, fix her to make her normal in their eyes of what would be okay, um, for the family to endure in terms of media coverage, like, oh, my gosh, you've just destroyed a person's brain.
Speaker A: Again. It's not like she was not saying that if she was on one end of the spectrum, this is never justified. Right?
Speaker B: No.
Speaker A: Unacceptable. But it's not like her behavior. It's not like she was the Tasmanian devil all the time.
Speaker B: Yeah. She wasn't joining.
Speaker A: She was going to events. In one of the articles they were talking about, she attended this dance, and her older brother Joe accompanied her, and nobody knew anything was because she was significant. She passed as, quote, unquote, normal. She was probably in danger.
Speaker B: Fun. She was hanging out with her brother. She was out in the world. She was enjoying herself. And I'm sure after this procedure, she could basically do nothing but sit on the couch and eat potatoes out of a bowl.
Speaker A: Well, you are correct, Emma. The, uh, lobotomy, unfortunately left Rosemary unable to walk or talk.
Speaker B: Oh, my gosh.
Speaker A: She was immediately institutionalized at a facility in Wisconsin and basically didn't see her family for the next 20 years.
Speaker B: They're Connecticut people, right? Like, they're eastern seaboard at least.
Speaker A: Yeah. Massachusetts, Connecticut, they just were, like, ship.
Speaker B: Off to Wisconsin so we never have to see or talk to her. Why did you even get the lobotomy? Why did you even have to do that? If you really just didn't want her in your life, you could have shipped. That's not the better solution.
Speaker A: But they were thinking, oh, then we won't have to worry about her, and she can stay around. But it went wrong because it was.
Speaker B: A lobotomy anyway, so she did not.
Speaker A: Um, see her family for the next 20 years, which might have after that. Who would want to see your family? But anyway, eunice.
Speaker B: Eunice?
Speaker A: That's a name.
Speaker B: Oh, Yunice.
Speaker A: Yunice Kennedy Shriver. Uh, her sister did grow closer with Rosemary later in life, and Eunice went on to found the Special Olympics and the Joseph P. Kennedy Junior Foundation, which researches developmental and intellectual disabilities, which, yes, on one hand, here's a cookie crumb, but on the other hand, why would you name it after your brother?
Speaker B: That's a good point.
Speaker A: And not your sister, who had developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Speaker B: Maybe it was like, again, a media thing of, like, this will be the better choice in terms of I feel.
Speaker A: Like the better media move would have been to be like, hey, we messed up back in the, uh, 1940s. We acknowledged that that was messed up.
Speaker B: When are they going to say sorry for their actions? They're politicians.
Speaker A: Yeah, we'll get into that more. But anybody else, uh, I want to.
Speaker B: Yell at at the very least, there was a tiny silver lining and that the Special Olympics now exist, because that is already an incredible thing.
Speaker A: Yes, indeed. So that kind of concludes the sad chapter of the Kennedy curse. That is Rosemary Kennedy's story. Again, um, partially to blame on the family. Well, honestly, but her birth was not advantageous.
Speaker B: No, the nurses did it wrong. I just, um, can't imagine holding a full baby inside of your body for 2 hours when all it wants to do is come out.
Speaker A: Yeah, I don't need to that would be possible, but I feel like, uh.
Speaker B: Even if you crossed your legs, it would be like, well, it doesn't matter. Here it is.
Speaker A: I don't know. I don't I cannot speak from experience.
Speaker B: Me neither. I just talk about trauma.
Speaker A: All right, well, moving on to our next chapter, turn the page.
Speaker B: I don't know why, um, did your.
Speaker A: Book make that sound?
Speaker B: I don't know. I don't know if I can do a page turn sound.
Speaker A: Anyhow any of whom like his father before him, joseph Kennedy Senior, groomed his son for a life in the political spotlight.
Speaker B: Because, of course yes.
Speaker A: So the eldest son of Joseph and Rose, named Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Was raised with a political career in mind after his birth. Shortly after his birth, his maternal grandfather, Mayor Fitzgerald, announced to the press that this boy would one day be president. Dude, he wasn't even like he was fresh fresh out of the oven in school. Joe Junior was well liked. He was a competitive and healthy athlete and a good student. Kind of your all American boy.
Speaker B: Red blooded American. Yeah.
Speaker A: Upon reaching college, he reportedly told some friends that he was going to be, quote, the first Catholic president of the United States. So at least at that point, he can kind of have a little bit of say in his path and his destiny. But I just, um, think it's funny that at least that one has a little more validity than the newborn child. What? Maybe he wanted to be a painter. You don't know.
Speaker B: The baby is shaking hands and kissing babies.
Speaker A: He's rolling over in the nursery.
Speaker B: Hello. Thank you for your vote.
Speaker A: Um, okay. We did that. I, uh, was going to read you the same quote again. I was like, no, we already checked out. So, in his schooling before college, he was educated at a Protestant boarding school, which his Catholic mother really did not approve of. But Joe Senior was like, nope, he's going to go, and he's going to get well educated. He's going to brush elbows with the elites. It's going to prepare him. He's going to have a springboard for the rest of his career, the rest of his life.
Speaker B: Not a bad idea.
Speaker A: And then after that experience at the boarding school, he spent a year abroad between prep school and college at the University of London under the formal tutelage of socialist professor Harold Lasky. And it's interesting that he was studying under a socialist Jewish man because, um, his father was very much a Catholic, anti Semitic capitalist. But Joe Senior was like, no, I want him to be educated in all aspects, because when you're in politics, you have to be able to see other.
Speaker B: Perspectives that's very openminded.
Speaker A: Yes, sort of. But then it's also like, I don't know, it's just kind of gross feeling.
Speaker B: It is gross feeling. And I think it's because the knowledge of you, this dude is very much, like, against the things that he's telling his son to learn means that he's going to try and use that to be like, yeah, but they're wrong. Like, you can learn from them, but they're telling you the wrong things. Like, you know, it all. Yeah.
Speaker A: Well, in one of the articles said that Joe Jr. Did come back from London more liberal than his father, but with his Catholicism intact, which I thought was interesting.
Speaker B: His crop circle of Virgin Mary hadn't been breached.
Speaker A: Yes, indeed. Call back to the previous episode. We love it.
Speaker B: Had not, um, been breached.
Speaker A: I can't. So Joe Jr. Uh, graduated in 1938 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Harvard, and then he enrolled at Harvard Law School. So nothing but the best. We're taking care of business.
Speaker B: Taking care of business.
Speaker A: So Joe Junior, he was a Massachusetts delicate.
Speaker B: No, delicate. He was a delicate little flower.
Speaker A: Joe Jr. Was a Massachusetts delegate to the Democratic National Convention in he reportedly planned to run for the US. House of um representatives from Massachusetts 11th Congressional District in 1946. However, he left before his final year of law school at Harvard to enlist in the US. Naval Reserve in June, 1941. Okay, so we're approaching World War II. Things are happening. He trained, um to be a naval aviator, and upon completion of training, was sent to Britain and became a member of Bomber Squadron um 110. He completed mhm two tours of duty in the winter of 1943 to 1944 with 25 combat missions. And at that point, he was eligible to return home to the United States. But instead, he decided to volunteer for Operation Aphrodite in 1944. This mission entailed dropping explosive laden drones in the general direction of military targets.
Speaker B: General direction.
Speaker A: Well, the idea is that you would drop them. You would get them going in the right direction, so then the remote control aspect could take over. Obviously, the technology was not as sophisticated, so it's kind of just like giving a shove in the right direction.
Speaker B: Military precision. Look.
Speaker A: Just look. I don't know.
Speaker B: Look at it. Look.
Speaker A: So, on August 12, 1944, lieutenant Kennedy's plane exploded over East Suffolk, England, killing him and his copilot, lieutenant Wilford J. Willy Kennedy was just 29 years old.
Speaker B: Oh, wow. I didn't know he was that young.
Speaker A: And the cause of this accident was never officially determined. The weight of political legacy now fell on Joe Jr's younger brother, the second Kennedy child, John F. Kennedy.
Speaker B: We know this one well.
Speaker A: When he heard news of his brother's death, JFK reportedly told his friend Red Fey, quote, now the burden falls on me. And then in a different article to Vanity Fair, um, Jack Kennedy once said it was like being drafted. My father wanted his oldest son in politics. Wanted isn't the right word. He demanded it. You know, my father will come back to JFK.
Speaker B: Okay, we've got a few other back.
Speaker A: We have other tragedies to describe to you.
Speaker B: Attend to.
Speaker A: Indeed. So, next up, we have Kathleen Kennedy, whose nickname I absolutely love. Her nickname was Kick. So she was called Kick Kennedy.
Speaker B: That's so cute.
Speaker A: Which is so precious. And the photo I have of her for, um, the Instagram is so cute. Like, she has this bicycle. She's just we love it so much.
Speaker B: That's so cute.
Speaker A: Uh, so Kick Kennedy was the fourth of the nine Kennedy children and the second daughter. She spent a good deal of time in Britain due to her father's position as ambassador to the UK. And she really met a lot of people. She drived well. She really enjoyed her time there.
Speaker B: Her name was Kick. Like, how can you not?
Speaker A: While she was working for the Red Cross over in Britain, she met and began a romantic relationship with William Cavendish, the Marquess of Harrington, known to his friends and family as Billy. And Kathleen's mother, Rose, did not approve of this relationship because Billy was a Protestant.
Speaker B: Ma'am.
Speaker A: Englickin.
Speaker B: Ma'am. But he's a Marques.
Speaker A: She doesn't care.
Speaker B: He's a Marquest.
Speaker A: She doesn't care.
Speaker B: Billy is not careful. Come on.
Speaker A: Rose Kennedy does not care about earthly money if your soul is at risk. Emma.
Speaker B: All right, fair fine.
Speaker A: So Rose saw that his Anglican faith was an affront to the Kennedy family's Roman Catholicism. She reportedly even tried to, um, delay their wedding, which I, um, would just love to know more about. What's that monster in law situation look like? Right, exactly. She was, however, not successful. Um, Kathleen Kennedy and Billy Cavendish, married in May of 1944. And Kathleen.
Speaker B: Good, um.
Speaker A: Tragically, Billy died in battle just four months later, leaving Kathleen a widow.
Speaker B: Oh, no.
Speaker A: She did journey back once to the. US to visit her family. But after that, she did decide to remain in Great Britain despite the wartime dangers, which I think is interesting. Nice. I don't know.
Speaker B: It might be that she felt like it was more like home than right.
Speaker A: She wants to go back to staying with your mother, who tried to delay.
Speaker B: Your wedding and would probably say something to the effective I told you so when your husband ended up dying.
Speaker A: You know. But ever the social butterfly, the Lady Harrington then struck up a romantic relationship with the 8th Earl Fitzwilliam.
Speaker B: I'm a loving Kick. Kick is great.
Speaker A: Whose name are you ready for the full name of the 8th Earl Fitzwilliam?
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: William. Henry lawrence peter wentsworth. Fitzwilliams the last two are hyphenated for anyone that cares. I love that he went by Peter.
Speaker B: Oh, okay.
Speaker A: You can't just go around being like, I'm the athr Fitzwilliam. How do you do?
Speaker B: I would.
Speaker A: He was very scandalously, um, in the midst of a divorce when they met, which only added insult to injury for Kathleen's mother, Rose, because Fitzwilliam was also a Protestant.
Speaker B: Oh, no.
Speaker A: Rose even went so far as to threaten to disown Kathleen if she married Fitzwillia.
Speaker B: I would have been like, fine, bye.
Speaker A: But I feel like you don't really need the money if you're marrying an Earl.
Speaker B: Also, you're the widow of a Marquest, so that's got to have something in it. Like, at this point, you're already disconnected from your family in that way.
Speaker A: I don't know the details of the finances.
Speaker B: That's fair.
Speaker A: However, Kathleen would not be dissuade.
Speaker B: Well, of course not. This is Kick we're talking about.
Speaker A: Yes. Right. Kick Kennedy has no time for your garbage, Rose.
Speaker B: I just love it.
Speaker A: She seems great. Indeed. In May 1948, Kathleen learned that her father would be traveling to Paris. And so, in an effort to gain his blessing for her upcoming plans to marry Fitzwilliam, she decided to fly to France to meet with her father.
Speaker B: Kennedy should not get on planes. I'm already feeling gross about this. Okay, go ahead.
Speaker A: Unfortunately, the couple's plane never arrived. On May 13, 1948, en route to France, their plane encountered dramatic turbulence, rising and falling several thousand feet at a time and eventually crashed. Kathleen Kennedy and Peter um Fitzwilliam were instantly killed, along with their pilot and navigator.
Speaker B: Why Kennedys? Don't get on planes. Just don't go anywhere. Don't, um, go anywhere you want to survive. Don't go anywhere. Okay.
Speaker A: But at this point, the only plane death that had occurred was her older brother, and that was a wartime accident. Yeah, but Kick, she wanted to marry this man. Emma.
Speaker B: I know.
Speaker A: She was making it happen. Joseph uh, Kennedy senior. Her father was the only Kennedy to attend the funeral, which was put on by the Cavendish family. So by her late husband's family, which I'm like, shout out to you classy British people. Yeah, I mean, she was trying to marry someone else only a couple of years later, but I'm sure she's technically.
Speaker B: A Cavendish still because she wasn't married.
Speaker A: I just feel like that would be an awkward yeah, but.
Speaker B: She didn't love their son.
Speaker A: Right? I think it would be an interesting Christmas dinner.
Speaker B: It would be very interesting, but yes.
Speaker A: So Joseph Kennedy was the only Kennedy, um, to attend the funeral, which was held in Europe. Rose reportedly later called Kathleen's untimely death quote, um, god, pointing a finger.
Speaker B: Okay. I hate this woman. Yeah, I really don't like her.
Speaker A: Not great.
Speaker B: I really don't like her. You can have like I'm sure she has some mental health issues that were not taken care of because of the time period, but woman, those are the words you choose to use about your daughter's death. Oh my gosh. Alright, so maybe she's the curse. Continue.
Speaker A: Flash forward to Jack Kennedy. A-K-A. JFK. Is now President of the United States. His wife, Jackie gives birth to Patrick Bouvoir Kennedy on August 7, and he is premature at the time of his death. He is premature at the time of his birth. This was Jacqueline Kennedy's fifth pregnancy in 1955. She had, uh, a miscarriage in 1956. They had a daughter named Arabelle who was still born. Their daughter Caroline was born in, um, 1957. And JFK Jr. Was born in late 1960, just 17 days after his father's election to President. Patrick, who's this new little baby. He was the first baby born to an active president since the 1800s. Which I thought was interesting, but also makes sense. Like, you don't really want to deal with being pregnant while also being First Lady of the United States.
Speaker B: Yeah. Although I'm sure that's hard to maneuver, but yeah, true.
Speaker A: Well, also they were Catholic.
Speaker B: That's true.
Speaker A: Unfortunately, Patrick Bouvard Kennedy dies, uh, at two days old due to respiratory distress syndrome, and without going super in depth because, um, this is already going to be a longer episode. JFK himself had many health issues for basically his entire life. One of the sources in the show, um, notes, goes very in depth into his childhood. And, uh, it's just to sum it up, he was basically very pale and frail, especially in comparison to his older brother, Joe Jr. If you looked at the two eldest Kennedy brothers, you would never pick JFK as the one that would be this political icon because truly, reading about their childhoods, it feels like a novel the way it all played out of, like the expectations are on this brother, but then he tragically dies and the other brother who is never expected to take the throne. Not the throne. It's so interesting. It's super in depth. It's in the show notes. It's a Vanity Fair piece, uh, titled Two Sons, One Destiny, which is very interesting.
Speaker B: Wow. It does sound like a novel, though. It has all of those hallmarks.
Speaker A: It's like, no way, it happened. And then I wrote attempt at a lighter hearted fun fact. Jackie Kennedy's. Mother attended Sweetbriar College.
Speaker B: Yes, I knew that one.
Speaker A: But also she attended Barnard College, so she must have transferred.
Speaker B: She graduated, I think, from Barnard.
Speaker A: Wrong. There's no record of her completing her courses study at Barnard. Oh, but who needs a college degree in the early Times if you're going to get married? Who needs it?
Speaker B: Sweet raio.
Speaker A: So that's my attempt to the fun fact.
Speaker B: And her last name was Bouvoir, right?
Speaker A: Jackie Kennedy is maiden names.
Speaker B: Bouvoir.
Speaker A: Yeah, that's my attempt to the fun fact.
Speaker B: I can't get over the pale and frail comment because I was like me.
Speaker A: Truly you pale and frail indeed. Moving forward, the year 1963 was not, however, finished with the Kennedy family. On November 2263, JFK and the First Lady were riding in an open air limo as part of a procession through Dallas, Texas. This little tidbit makes what follows even more sad to me. But this is Jackie Kennedy's first public outing since the death of their newborn son.
Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. I didn't know that. Yeah, um I didn't either.
Speaker A: So, the President was shot by former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Oswald was apprehended on the same day, but denied responsibility for the assassination, claiming that he was only guilty of shooting a Dallas police officer. So he claimed that he was just being framed as a patsy for the assassination of JFK. We couldn't learn more, however, because Oswald was shot on live television while in custody of the Dallas Police Department by local nightclub, um owner Jack Ruby. And therefore, Oswald was never formally charged with the assassination.
Speaker B: This is where conspiracy happens.
Speaker A: In 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin of JFK. However, in 1979, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations or the HSCA.
Speaker B: I didn't know that existed.
Speaker A: I guess it does. The HSCA concluded that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy and that Oswald did not act alone. And Emma, that brings us to the timing of today's episode. I have three words for you the, uh, Winter Soldier.
Speaker B: The end.
Speaker A: Case closed. Case closed. That is why, like the Kennedy curse, you guys have been on our brainstorming list of topics for the podcast since before the podcast even existed. But on Today, when you are listening to this on the day this episode comes out, you know what else comes out? Emma?
Speaker B: I do. But would you like to tell the people?
Speaker A: Yeah. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier comes out on busy clubs. I'm so excited. I have to be at work at 09:00 A.m., but I'm going to wake up early to watch it.
Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. What time does it come out?
Speaker A: I have to look it up, but.
Speaker B: I know the evening.
Speaker A: I watched, um, the Wanda Vision finale at, like, eight in the morning.
Speaker B: Well, then maybe they just send them out. Maybe it's, like, midnight or something.
Speaker A: Exactly. But anyway, I think that solves the case. Lee Harvey Oswald might have been involved, but the Winter uh, Soldier was the person that assassinated JFK. The end. But mhm just aside, truthfully, the assassination of JFK could be its own specific episode of this podcast because there are so many conspiracy theories. These include the alleged involvement, um, of the CIA, the Mafia, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, the KGB, or some combination of the above.
Speaker B: I would be totally fine if you did, like, a follow up episode, because I want to hear about it.
Speaker A: I'd be totally fine if you wanted to do it, too.
Speaker B: That's true. I could actually do my research for months.
Speaker A: What are you talking about? You do your research for your episode?
Speaker B: Yeah, I know. I feel like I do it. I figure out what my episode is going to be like two days before we record, and I'm like, oh, no, I have to figure out all my research.
Speaker A: Please let the record reflect that I did not do all of this research last night.
Speaker B: I'm very proud of you.
Speaker A: I did it the last two nights.
Speaker B: I'm very proud of you. Honestly, that is an accomplishment for us, you guys. We are perpetually busy people in whose downtime we decide to binge watch television and TikTok and listen to podcasts and, you know, take care of ourselves and clean our rooms and things. But we do it for you.
Speaker A: We do it for you.
Speaker B: We do it for you.
Speaker A: I did get to go to bed last night at, like, 1215 until 130.
Speaker B: So I'm so proud.
Speaker A: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Speaker B: You're welcome.
Speaker A: All right, now that everyone is back from listening, um, or from watching the first episode of Falcon and Winter Soldier, because I don't blame you if you pause and ran over to your little TV. Next up, we're still talking about the assassination assassination. We're still talking about the assassination of JFK, but I think this part is fascinating. If you remember what I was talking about at the beginning, about how calculated this family can be about their image. We've already touched on that a little bit in terms of removing Rosemary, um, Kennedy, essentially, from the equation. They even downplayed kick Kennedy's, uh, death in an attempt to help JFK's political career. They didn't want to distract from him.
Speaker B: Yeah, we don't want to distract from our son's political, um, career when our daughter just died a tragic death.
Speaker A: Well, it was also viewed as a scandalous situation, which makes sense, but yes, okay, fine. Doesn't excuse their behavior. She did start her romantic relationship with Fitzwilliam while he was in the process of being divorced. So he was technically married, which for some people some people married is married and separated isn't an option, especially if you're Catholic. But anyway, on the same day of the tragedy, of, um, JFK's assassination. This is when first lady Jackie Kennedy cements her husband legacy in the eyes of history. She's quoted by Life magazine as saying the following don't let it be forgotten that once there was a spot for a brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot. She's quoting the musical, which you can cross off on your bingo card, by the way. There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot. It will never be that way again. And then I have a little blurb from one of my sources. Quote from the photo of Kennedy's, um, son saluting his father's coffin to pictures of Kennedy gallivanting with his brothers. This somber yet romantic iconography was curated entirely by Jacqueline Kennedy. Even though she's clearly going through a lot of stuff, she's like, we're going to shape this narrative, and we're going to make it so that people remember him as, like, this golden boy. I mean, icon.
Speaker B: At that point, I say, why not? Because the amount of trauma that she's gone through might as well try and make something good out of it.
Speaker A: But, wow, this makes me want to watch the movie, the biopic they made about her and read all the books I can about her. Because Jackie Kennedy, she accompanies her husband's body back to Andrews Air Force Base here in the DC. Area, wearing the same suit that she wore during the shooting. And when her assistant or someone on her staff asked her if she wanted to clean up, if she wanted to change, she said, quote, Let them see what they've done. So she gets off the plane, and I have a photo of this on the Instagram. She gets off the plane and her suit has her husband's blood stains on it. And this stained Chanel suit, which is, like, bright pink, is now part of the National Archives. It was officially, um, gifted by Jackie's daughter, Caroline, following her mother's passing. The Archives had the suit since 1960, um, four. But because the original on loan person passed away, they had to pay for work, essentially. But Caroline did that with the provision, um, that the suit not be seen, uh, by the public until 2100 and 321. Three. So we're never going to see this in our lifetime, Emma, unless we sneak into the archives. Well, we, um, don't, um, have special actually, like no, like they talked about in the article. This is also it's in the New York Times. It's in the show notes. They talked about how other artifacts from the assassination, um, if you have a special research permit, like, you can go and, like, see the gun that Oswald used or see different things. But there aren't really any reports of anyone being able to see the suit.
Speaker B: I find that interesting, though, because in terms of conservation, as someone who does this, I don't do fabric textile conservation. Um, but they would have to have someone taking care of it.
Speaker A: Um, yes, but that's part of the staff. That's not the public.
Speaker B: Well, that's what I'm saying. We infiltrate the staff. Shannon.
Speaker A: You want us to national Treasure?
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: Jackie Kennedy is it weird that I.
Speaker B: Want to see that?
Speaker A: I mean, you can see Photos, and.
Speaker B: The archives also have the pillow that, um, Abraham Lincoln died on.
Speaker A: Yeah. Uh, and Ford Speeder has, like, his hat and his cloak that he was wearing when he was shot. In the article, they talk about how conservatives can't think of another item of such iconic clothing that's in museum collection, but also not viewable by the public.
Speaker B: I mean, fair. That's a very niche space anyway.
Speaker A: But I just think that it's very interesting.
Speaker B: It's fascinating.
Speaker A: And the article goes into it a little bit further, but there is no official confirmation, um, of who initially donated the suit. But all the sources around Jackie Kennedy are, um, essentially sum up that nothing would have happened without her say so. It was probably her.
Speaker B: I would imagine so. Especially with the way that she held herself during that day and the way that she cultivated the story surrounding it. There's no way that she didn't say, give this to the National Archives.
Speaker A: Yeah. And then to kind of conclude this, wrap up this little section, I have another quote. Kennedy's time in the White House following his inauguration in 1961, to that dark day in November, nearly three days later, was cast as a time of burgeoning cheer and optimism. A brief golden moment cut short before it could blossom into the full, lasting brilliance of a golden age. And I think for a lot of people, that's how they remember John F. Kennedy. Despite the fact that there are so many accounts and well documented accounts of his philandari, his misbehavior. He was not loyal to his wife whatsoever.
Speaker B: No.
Speaker A: At all. He had affairs with many people, famous.
Speaker B: Um, and otherwise and potentially Marilyn Monroe.
Speaker A: Indeed. And was Marilyn Monroe taken out by government agents? Relationship with JFK?
Speaker B: That's one that I already know that I'm going to stack. We're going to get there, and it's going to be fun, and it's going to be great. I'm so excited.
Speaker A: Well, I wouldn't say fun.
Speaker B: Well, no, you're right. It's not genuinely fun. It's interesting.
Speaker A: You guys know, this is not you.
Speaker B: Should know by this point, it isn't that we find any of these tragedies or, like, conspiracies that people buy into fun for real.
Speaker A: It's just fun to research on a rare occasion. Some of them are fun. Like Denver Airport is fun.
Speaker B: That's true.
Speaker A: That one was fun because it's silly.
Speaker B: Yeah. Um.
Speaker A: And then in my notes, I typed Lol. At this point in my notes, alana Del Rey song came on in my playlist. And I think that's so funny because I read online somebody made the joke that all of Lana del Rey's music sounds the way it does because she wanted to get with JFK, and she never had the opportunity to.
Speaker B: What? Like, she's the musical version of Marilyn.
Speaker A: Monroe, but she's obsessed with him and the vibe. And I feel like once you hear that and then you listen to her music, you're like, that checks out. You have, like, JFK daddy issues. So I just thought it was funny that it came up on the playlist.
Speaker B: Uh, feel free to listen to Lana for yourself and make your decision.
Speaker A: I mean, I wouldn't, because she's kind of problematic.
Speaker B: She is problematic into it, but her music is interesting.
Speaker A: Sure. So at this point, Emma, if you were a member of the Kennedy family, wouldn't you just avoid airplanes in general?
Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, I already do, but yeah.
Speaker A: 64. JFK's younger brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, was in a plane crash on his way to campaign in Massachusetts. Fortunately, Kennedy and his wife survived, but his aide, Edward Moss and the pilot, Edwin Zimney died. Kennedy himself spent five months in the hospital and experienced lifelong back injuries as a result of this accident. Next up, we have Champagne's younger brother, Robert. Robert served as a political support throughout the President's career, eventually serving as his Attorney General. Following his brother's assassination, robert, um, gained some political standing himself four years after the tragedy of his brother's death, robert won the California Democratic Presidential primary on June 5, 1968. Unfortunately, he would never have the chance to truly campaign for the office held by his late brother, as he, too, was assassinated shortly after midnight. So he just won the Democratic primary in California shortly after midnight. Uh, RFK was shot by a man named Serhan Visara Serhan, with a 22 pistol in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. RFK died shortly thereafter at the young age of 32. And Sir Han was originally sentenced to death, but is now serving a life sentence for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy because, uh, California abolished the death penalty. So he's serving a life sentence in California. And so Han, he is a Palestinian, and he reportedly said that he killed Kennedy because he supported Israel. So that's the end of that.
Speaker B: Golly. It's just like, at every turn, there's just something. But I think this has the ability and I think Jackie saw this and used it to her to the advantage of the Kennedys that because they seem to all have, um, perished young or, you know, tragedy strikes them young, that there is the ability to create this golden narrative out of it all, regardless of problematic things. Um, they're able to make a beautiful narrative, um, out of tragedy.
Speaker A: Yeah. So now we're going to circle back to Ted Kennedy out of everyone in this family has a lot of luck in the midst of all this mess. However, would not recommend getting into any sort of vehicle with him if you ever go back in time travel. Would not recommend getting in any sort of plane, train, automobile with Ted Kennedy. So on July 18, Ted Kennedy accidentally drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, which unfortunately resulted in the drowning death of his 28 year old passenger, Mary Jo Capeckney. Kennedy was able to escape the car and supposedly tried to rescue Mary Jo.
Speaker B: Regardless of his back injury.
Speaker A: However, mhm once he reached the shore, he swam to shore. He returned to his hotel room for the night and did not contact the police. The authorities were not called until around 08:00 a.m. When the sunken car was spotted by some local fishermen. A diver concluded that Capecny had actually died of asphyxiation, not drowning. She'd been breathing through an air bubble for three to 4 hours waiting for rescue.
Speaker B: That's awful.
Speaker A: Yeah. So that implies that if he had gone to get to believe it's possible that she could have been saved.
Speaker B: Well and even if he could have seen that she was still alive oh, my gosh. That's also, I feel like, a, um, story that could be very much like an entire podcast episode, because it is rife with conspiracy.
Speaker A: Um oh, is it?
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: All right. Kennedy asserted that he was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. But I'm like, why else would you like I mean, I guess, yes, you crashed in a car, and you almost round yourself, so you might be in shock, but I don't see how you can swim to shore and then get back to your hotel room if you're so dramatically affected. You know what I mean? I'm like, yeah, if you're so dramatically affected that you don't call the police, uh, then, yeah, you might have been wrong. Also, why did you drive off a bridge? In his televised statement a week later, um, the Senator said that on the night of the accident, he wondered, quote, whether some awful curse did actually hang over all the Kennedys. And this is the first public acknowledgement by a member of the Kennedy family of this seemingly disproportionate amount of misfortune that they had faced. In 2018, there was a movie titled Chapaquidic that was released, and it looks at the accident and the power of the Kennedy family as they work to save their image save his image, his political career. And while he did, Ted Kennedy did continue on in politics as a Senator. This incident, and what I think is his poor behavior in its aftermath likely kept him from ever running for the office of President, which I think is interesting. It's like, oh, Americans only care to do research about the background of the President, but they don't care about their state senators.
Speaker B: Or just the name. Like, they're just like, well, he could do all of these awful things, but he's a Kennedy, I guess.
Speaker A: Right. And now we're entering the section that I've titled the Wiki Rundown of Tragedy, because I got to a point where I was like, I cannot go in depth into all of these more recent incidents. I will note that I am leaving out incidents of what I view to be bad behavior. So various Kennedys have faced charges for sexual assault, murder, public intoxication. But to me, those feel like a separate category outside of this curse. Because that's really, like, you chose that behavior. Maybe some people would argue it's like, oh, it's something in their blood, it's something in their destiny that I don't buy into that. So if you're expecting certain incidents to be mentioned and they aren't, I clearly think that's bad behavior. All right, here we go. Rapid fire. In the early 1960s, the original Joseph Kennedy Senior, he goes mute following a stroke. So unfortunate. November 1773. Edward M. Kennedy, Jr. At age twelve, has his right leg surgically amputated as a result of bone cancer. He's the son of Senator Ted Kennedy. Uh, and according to Barack Obama's most recent book, this Experience with Edward Kennedy Jr. Inspired a passion in the Senator for accessible health care for all. And he called health care for all, quote, the cause of my life. So the fact that Obama was able to pass, um, obamacare health care for all within the Senator's lifetime was a very big deal, um, for him. And that's cool. All right, um, David A. Kennedy dies of a drug overdose in a Palm Beach, Florida hotel room. He is the fourth of Robert Kennedy's eleven kids.
Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. I did not know he had that many children. He was only, um, 32 when he died.
Speaker A: Yeah.
Speaker B: Holy crap, man.
Speaker A: Irish Catholics. And he actually heard the news about his father's assassination on live television while he was alone in the family hotel room. And I believe he was only, like, 1210 or twelve at that time. So that's incredibly traumatic if you're just, like, watching the news by yourself. And it's like, BTW, your dad died.
Speaker B: I'm sorry, I just got, um, scared out of my mind. The cat is scratching at the closet door and all I could hear is, like, the scratching noises. And it terrified me for a moment.
Speaker A: It's the monkey. He's coming to you.
Speaker B: Don't even I almost went and found he's back in his spot. So I don't know what happened, but he's back in his spot. I almost brought him to sit here, but then I was like, I don't want to look at him, so no, I know.
Speaker A: You'd have to share the space. Are you letting the cat in?
Speaker B: I don't know if she's still there. It wasn't the cat, it was my mother. Mhm. Oh, she left a note. Give me a second.
Speaker A: And now I'm going to talk about Emma while she's not here. Emma is so silly.
Speaker B: She says they are gone for an hour if you want to eat something. The workmen downstairs that terrified me. I thought it was the cat. Scratching. It was her putting a tax return envelope.
Speaker A: With that that contrast when I was at your house, because your father, the bone shaman, was taking out my wisdom teeth at his office. It wasn't, like, on the back deck or anything, but I heard a meow outside my guest room door, and I thought it was you because that's what you would do in college. And when you lived in this house with me, you would meow at the door. So I meowed back, and then the door didn't open, and I was like, oh, weird. And I went and opened the door, and it was actually your brother's cat coming, uh, to say hi to me. But I thought she was you.
Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, not a bad situation, though. It ends up not being your best friend. Uh, but a cat.
Speaker A: I love her. She is everyone's best friend.
Speaker B: Yes, she is. She is the sweetest cat. She's a lot, but she's the sweetest.
Speaker A: Yeah. All right.
Speaker B: Sorry. We're back.
Speaker A: It's okay. Brief interlude for the tragedy. And now we're back.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker A: So on December 31, michael Lemoyne Kennedy died in a skiing accident at age 39 after crashing into a tree in Aspen, Colorado.
Speaker B: Jeez.
Speaker A: He is Robert Kennedy's. 6th Child And the accident was described, and I do not want to speak ill of the dead, but the following statement is about the most rich white boy, uh, thing I've ever read in my life.
Speaker B: Play it on me.
Speaker A: They were, quote, playing American football on skis.
Speaker B: Um what?
Speaker A: So I think they were just, like, tossing a football back and forth, like, maybe keep away, but they were on the slopes on skis.
Speaker B: Okay. You know those photos of, like, uh, this is why most women last longer than men. And it's like a ladder, like, almost horizontal, between, uh, two walls over a staircase. This is what that reminds me of.
Speaker A: Yeah. And also, the inquest revealed that he wasn't wearing a helmet or any other kind of safety gear. Not great. It was also new year's, though.
Speaker B: New Year's Eve, so maybe a little, like, drinking.
Speaker A: Next up is an incident that probably many people, um, have heard of or recall in the news. On July 16, 1999, john F. Kennedy, Jr. And his wife, Carolyn Bassett Kennedy died when the plane that he, the JFK Jr. Was piloting, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. The crash was attributed to pilot error and spatial disorientation. His sister inlaw Lauren Bassett, also died in the crash. Um, and this was seen as an extra tragedy, I think, in terms of media coverage, because they were definitely an it couple. I'm sure many people compare their glamour and their charm to that of JFK Juniors iconic parents. So very sad. August 25, 2009, at age 77, senator Ted Kennedy passed away after receiving treatment for a malignant glioma.
Speaker B: Thanks.
Speaker A: Gray's Anatomy, a type of cancerous brain. Tumor. Um, just sad. Like, his son had cancer when he was twelve. He had cancer later in his life. I will say not many Kennedy make it to age 77.
Speaker B: Yeah, so, I mean, you're lucky, man. He's the one with the weird look, right?
Speaker A: Yeah. But it's still like, it's like tragedy has been chasing him his whole life, and it finally caught up almost. September 16, 2011, Kara Kennedy, daughter of Ted Kennedy, died of a heart attack while exercising in a Washington, DC health club. She reportedly suffered from lung cancer nine years earlier, but she had recovered after the removal of part of her right lung. So, again, this is the third member in just this specific branch of the family that's faced with cancer, but then it's like she dodged the cancer bullet and then she has a heart attack.
Speaker B: So much tragedy.
Speaker A: All right, so, may 2012, Mary Richardson Kennedy, who was the former wife of Robert F. Kennedy, Junior, died by suicide on the grounds of her home in Bedford, westchester County, New York. Uh, so at this point, it's like relatives, people who are technically not blood related to the Kennedys, but, uh, they married in everybody. August 2019. Sercia Kennedy Hill, the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy. She dies of an accidental drug overdose at the Kennedy compound in Cape Cod. And then as recently as last year, on April 2, 2020, may Kennedy McKeen and Gideon McKeen, uh, her eight year old son went missing during a canoe trip in the Chesapeake Bay. She's the granddaughter of Robert Kennedy and the grand niece of President JFK. Maeve's body was found on April 6. Gideon's body was found on April 8. Authorities believe Maeve paddled to retrieve a ball leading the wind and the current to overturn the canoe. So that's kind of the end of the list of the Wikipedia list of tragedy. Everybody wear a life vest.
Speaker B: Seriously. Especially if you're an eight year old, right?
Speaker A: It just reminded me of what happened with Naya Rivera last year.
Speaker B: That was so sad.
Speaker A: We're a life best, you guys. It doesn't your Instagram pictures will still look good. Here's a little what I thought was a fun fact. Um, uh, there was a member of the Kennedy family in political office, um, continuously from 19, um, 46, when John F. Kennedy was elected to the US. House of Representatives until early 2011, when Patrick J. Kennedy left the House of Representatives. The only exception in that time was the period where JFK resigned from the senate in December 1960, and then was inaugurated as the president in January of the following year. And then in 2013, Joseph P. Kennedy, the third was elected. US. Representative from Massachusetts, and he served until this year.
Speaker B: Yeah, remember that, too.
Speaker A: Kennedy, they're everywhere in politics.
Speaker B: They married the Schwarzeneggers too.
Speaker A: Yeah, they're everywhere.
Speaker B: They're everywhere.
Speaker A: So this brings me, um, to the final question. What is the source of this socalled Kennedy curse. I thought this was very funny because people in the YouTube comments seem to have, uh, it all figured out.
Speaker B: Of course, they always do.
Speaker A: One person commented, my grandfather told me how the Kennedy curse started. It was because many years ago, their great grandfather sold weapons to the enemy. Didn't specify which enemy, what year it was, no idea. And then somebody responded, and just the level of confidence, but no follow up of new knowledge just really tickles me in this response. Several people have sold weapons to the enemy. Why pick on this Kennedy great grandfather? Selling weapons to the enemy cannot be the cause of a generational curse.
Speaker B: I mean, there's a portion of that where I agree, and then there's so much of it where I go, okay.
Speaker A: I just want to be like, what's your source? Is your grandmother a witch? Are you a witch? Do you have a manual on generational curses? What's the situation?
Speaker B: Where is your curse book? I need to know what portion of the index should I be looking at?
Speaker A: Right. G for generational or W for weapons? I don't know.
Speaker B: I don't know.
Speaker A: Edward Klein, who is the author of The Kennedy Why tragedy has haunted America's first family for 150 years. He relayed a rumor in this book. He shared a rumor that was told to him by Jewish mystics oh, golly. That a rabbi had. Hexed family patriarch Joseph Kennedy in the 1930s damning him and all his male offspring to tragic fates because the two men got into a dispute on a boat.
Speaker B: Okay, but this just feeds into the antisemitism of it all.
Speaker A: But also, it doesn't cover all of the tragedies.
Speaker B: Let's talk about Rosemary women. What about kick? What about all of the no, wrong.
Speaker A: Incorrect.
Speaker B: I don't agree.
Speaker A: Well, so? Neither does Kline. He shared that in his book as, like, some people say this. He himself believes that the Kennedys were cursed by a fatal, quote, thrillseeking gene.
Speaker B: This is what my father in law.
Speaker A: Believes embedded in their DNA. Uh, yeah, my article did not offer any additional information on that. I don't know how you would even determine that scientifically.
Speaker B: I think it's a level of testosterone, because that's like, the hormone that makes you take risks. But it wouldn't explain the tragedy, um, of kick. It wouldn't explain poor Rosemary. It wouldn't explain, like, the fact that Ted was still alive at 77.
Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, last time I checked, sitting in a car, an open air car, is not a risk, uh, taking activity.
Speaker B: Right.
Speaker A: Maybe becoming president in itself is inherently.
Speaker B: Yeah, I think that's where that comes from. But when I asked my father in law what his favorite conspiracy theory was, it was that there was a thrill seeking gene in the Kennedys, and that's why they were cursed.
Speaker A: So the most complete legend or origin story that I could find for the Kennedy curse comes from a publication titled Ireland's big issue.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: And so, according to legend, thomas quote or nicknamed honey Fitz Fitzgerald. Honey Fitz, who was JFK's great grandfather on his mother Rose's side, interfered with a cursed treasure trove in the 1840s and used the proceeds to set himself up in business in America. So according to this, it's actually Rose, the woman that you don't like. It's her family's fault. It's her gene. Maybe that's why she decursive.
Speaker B: But, I mean, it also explains why nothing happened before their family.
Speaker A: True.
Speaker B: So maybe it was just because something happened in hers, and then she became bitter and passed it on, perhaps.
Speaker A: So the legend goes that it's 1842 in a place called Urid in County Galway, Ireland. I tried to look up how to pronounce it. Guys, YouTube was not helpful, but apparently urid urid. However, it said it's iris.
Speaker B: It's fine.
Speaker A: It means golden village, and it's very remote. It was, in fact, the last place in Ireland to become electrified. The first light bulb arrived there in 19. So idyllic old school removed.
Speaker B: Smells like sheep, probably.
Speaker A: So at this time, the early 1940s, there are a lot of starving people. They've been turned out of their homes in some, uh, cases. I wrote the bad times. So the protagonist of our story, honey.
Speaker B: Fitzgerald, I can't who named him that? Who did that to him?
Speaker A: Well, you'll find out. He gains this nickname because of the following. Okay, so he was from Locker in county Limerick, and apparently he had dreamed of a village of gold nestled amidst the lakes and the mountains. An Irish eldorado, essentially. Yes. And he spent years traveling, trying to find this place that he had seen in his dreams, which, I mean, if the economy is going to dirt and there is no work to be had, might as well yeah, why not? That works as a retirement plan as well as sitting next to the fire and being sad.
Speaker B: It gives you something to do, something productive with your life. Yeah, go for it. What? Why are you looking so wistful?
Speaker A: No, there are a bunch of sirens. Can you hear them? Okay, good. So while he was traveling, he would talk up locals at the various fairs and gatherings to try and kind of get a read on information if anyone knew anything. One day at a fair in Galway city, and O'Malley man is how they were described, and I meant to look it up because it wasn't like George O'Malley. It was an O'Malley man. And maybe just a man of perhaps, but he is from the urred area. Um, and he seemed to know what Fitz was talking about, but he didn't know specifically where the treasure was buried, or if he did, he wasn't going to tell this random guy. So Fitzgerald moves to this area to continue his quest. He's not just searching for treasure, though. He's like working with sheep for one of the longest.
Speaker B: It smells like sheep, truly.
Speaker A: And then I'm just going to read this portion of the story from the article because they did it so well. And you know what? This is not an academic paper.
Speaker B: No.
Speaker A: So me copying and pasting is not that bad. I'm citing my source.
Speaker B: It's acceptable.
Speaker A: Thank you.
Speaker B: You're welcome.
Speaker A: So this is still from Ireland's big issue. It's available in the show notes. William McGuire takes up the story. They came upon an old traveling woman on the road and she was dying, so they put her down by the fire for the night in a herdsman house owned by the family landlords, a house which Fits subsequently bought when he became rich. When the woman recovered the next morning and awoke, she examined the big black pot hanging in the hearth. It had Ukraine writing on it and she could read it and it said, the other side of the tree is just as good to the people of the household. It was a cryptic message about the message of urid's croc of gold, but not to Thomas Fitzgerald. He knew all about the ancient pot hanging in the fireside hearth and more importantly, where it came from. Fitzgerald had found a similar pot already. It was a big black pot for cooking in. So that is how he knew where to dig. The treasure was buried under an old hawthorne tree. Fitzgerald dug around the tree and found a hoard of gold coins and shared them with the O'Malleys. And it was from the gold that he got the nickname honey Fitz. However, the gold coins were supposed to be very unlucky and people were afraid to touch them. However, some did. It was said afterwards that there was terrible bad luck for any family that took the gold. They had terrible misfortune afterwards.
Speaker B: This is one of my favorite stories currently now, because it's just so Irish. It's so Irish. It's about luck and gold and cryptically, messy ladies. It's kind of mystical, but not and it's all his fault, even though he was just following the clues.
Speaker A: But it's bad luck.
Speaker B: But it's bad luck.
Speaker A: The origin of the gold itself was said to be that it had washed ashore from part of the Spanish armada. So maybe it had bad juju, had like war time, money, I don't know. Like I said, Ireland's big issue is the only source that could offer me any sort of definitive not definitive, but more flesh out comprehensive. Everybody's wanting to talk about the Kennedy curse, but they are just doing what I just did, which is tell you all the terrible things that have happened. I'm like, okay, but where did this curse come from? Because curse to me implies that it has been placed upon you. Yes, but maybe people just say Kennedy curse as in a way to sum up all of the bad things that have happened. I will point out that as Irish Roman Catholics, basically all of the earlier generations of this family had many, many children, which makes the breadth of the family even larger. And I think the more people, the more likely there are to be accidents.
Speaker B: Yeah. The probability is higher.
Speaker A: Also, if you're rich and famous, more people are paying attention and they're more willing to spend time connecting the dots or making a podcast about it.
Speaker B: Hello?
Speaker A: You know what I mean? One of the articles mentioned Mary Jo Capecny, the woman who died after the Chap Aquatic car crash with Ted Kennedy. Her family had a lot of other bad things happen besides her untimely death, but because you know what? No one's ever going to talk about a Capekne curse because they aren't interesting to the general public. So I feel like that's kind of my summation of the curse. Like, maybe it's not a cast upon, it's just a catch all phrase to culturally acknowledge all of the bad juju that's happened.
Speaker B: I think that's fair. I think, too, we could go through just those nine children of Rose and Joe and just be like, this is the Kennedy encapsulated in them and, um, their descendants. But even then, first of all, nine kids, robert had eleven. Even just from their disseminating further down, it's an incredible amount of people. So the probability is just super high. Regardless, I also think because, and I can say this because I'm Irish, when you're Irish, um, everything bad that happens to you is just bad luck and something's cursed and something's wrong. Like, it's never just things happen. It's always like you've been struck, like, kind of what that? Which is horrible to think about. Kind of what Rose said about Kick's death.
Speaker A: If they believed that, maybe you'd think that they would have taken a step back and then like, oh, maybe God's pointing a finger that we shouldn't be in politics.
Speaker B: No. Because that would mean that they wouldn't be able to do what they wanted.
Speaker A: Truly. Yeah. In 2009, Ted Kennedy Jr. And Representative um Patrick Kennedy appeared on Larry King Live on CNN to discuss the passing of their father, Senator Ted Kennedy. King asked them if they believed in the concept of a Kennedy curse. Patrick Kennedy said, no. Obviously, my dad had a sense of spirituality that transcended his ability to face these problems in a way that would have otherwise paralyzed the normal person. And then Ted Kennedy, Jr. Added, the Kennedy family has had to endure these things in a very open way, but our family is just like every other family in America in many ways. So I think Patrick is kind of saying, like, there was so much that my dad and maybe other relatives in the family needed to be able to say, oh, it was this curse, because otherwise they would have to process it as their reality in a more concrete way, and that would just be too critical.
Speaker B: I feel like that's a good summation of that, too. Obviously, these men are also politicians and good speakers and all that. But that is a very clear summation of exactly what I think is true about the Kennedys.
Speaker A: So that's all I have.
Speaker B: Very well done.
Speaker A: A very summed up version of the Kennedy curse. There are countless books and movies and documentaries, um, and things. So if, uh, you have an interest, I'm sure you can find a way to learn more. Check out our show notes.
Speaker B: Yes. And there may be a few episodes now on some deep dives into a couple of these, because now I'm super interested.
Speaker A: Honestly.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: I will say this is a completely other side note. You said deep dive, and it made me think of Chap Aquatic.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: And I had the thought last night while finalizing my research. Massachusetts, who hurt you? Why do you have so many letters in all of your words? Is it because you're so small? Did you feel slighted as a colony?
Speaker B: Well, it's like Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut were states with a very high Native American population before they all got, uh, pushed out. So they kept the names for if you see any Rhode Island name like Patukat or anything like that, it's all Narraganset Indian or Mohawk or anything like that. Native American names, uh, kind of stuck, mostly because they didn't feel like changing it. But it's a lot of letters. But it's basically just anglicizing native words.
Speaker A: I'll give them a pass then. Yeah, but I was like, they don't.
Speaker B: Get a pass on Worcester.
Speaker A: When I first saw Chap Aquatic, I was like, Excuse me.
Speaker B: Uh, yeah. God bless you.
Speaker A: And then I watched a video and I was like, oh, okay. For once, it actually is kind of.
Speaker B: Pronounced the way it's yeah, they don't get a pass on Worcester. Uh, mostly because that's an English name. That's an English word. Um, uh, all of the Native American words are pronounced with every single letter. There's not a letter missing. Whereas all of the English words are like, well, I know. Hope you know how to say this. Good luck.
Speaker A: I feel like it's just them, like, setting up safeguards against outsiders. It is, because, uh, then you feel like, oh, you're a tourist.
Speaker B: See, but that's what the Irish did when the English colonized. So Owen, the original Irish Celtic language, when they anglicized it and tried to write things out. That's why there's so many vowels in, um, Irish words. Because the Irish were like, yeah, we're going to take your anglicized, like your Latin letters. Perfect, fine. Yeah, we'll do that. But we're going to mess with them.
Speaker A: Uh, and they said a resounding fuck you.
Speaker B: Yeah. Uh, we're going to name our kids Shavon and Neve and Owen. But it's going to have a G in it.
Speaker A: Good luck, elementary school teachers of the future.
Speaker B: Very well done. I'm very proud of you.
Speaker A: Thank you.
Speaker B: This is awesome.
Speaker A: Everyone, thank you for joining us go rate review and subscribe for my birthday. And then, uh, go enjoy the Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Yes, and remember, this podcast doesn't exist.
Speaker B: I think I did good. I think I did good.
Speaker A: I mean, you didn't shout at us this time.
Speaker B: I know. OK. Love you. Bye.