Feb. 22, 1932 Edward Moore Kennedy is born in Boston, the youngest of nine children of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy.
1958 Kennedy marries Virginia Joan Bennett
1962 Edward M. Kennedy is elected to the United States Senate.
1963 Senator Kennedy becomes a member of the Health Committee and Judiciary Committee in the Senate, and works on fishery research and development, the NASA Electronics Research Center, and the Northeast Airlines Boston-Miami route. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated on Nov. 22 in Dallas. He was 46.
1964 Kennedy’s back is broken in a plane crash that kills his aide and the pilot.Senator Kennedy makes his maiden speech to the Senate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the fall election, Robert Kennedy was elected to the Senate by New York.
1965 The first major bill that Senator Kennedy managed on the Senate floor was the Immigration Act of 1965.
1966 Senator Kennedy passed legislation creating the national community health center program. He joined a health center in Columbia Point in Dorchester, Massachusetts, with a center in Mound Bayou, Mississippi as the start of a national program that now includes more that 1200 health centers nationally serving more than 20 million low income patients.
1967 Senator Kennedy made his first speech that openly questioned the Vietnam War.
1968 The Bilingual Education Act of 1968 was passed by Congress. Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated during his campaign for president.
1969 Kennedy drives his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick, Mass., and manages to escape. His passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowns.
1970 Senator Kennedy amended the Voting Rights Act to lower the voting age to 18, laying the basis for a constitutional amendment moving the voting age from 21 to age 18.
1971Senator Kennedy becomes Chairman of the Senate Health Subcommittee.
1972 Senator Kennedy champions the Meals on Wheels Act, which offers nutritional meals to homebound senior citizens and the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program, known as WIC.
1973 Senator Kennedy and Senator Hugh Scott sponsor legislation for public financing of Senate and House elections. The bill is approved by the Senate but not the House.
1974 Senator Kennedy leads the fight to cut off U.S. military aid to Chile. Kennedy and Wilbur Mills, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced comprehensive legislation providing national health insurance.
1975 Senator Kennedy was an original cosponsor of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which later became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and requires a free and appropriate public education for children with disabilities in every state.
1976 Senator Kennedy offers numerous amendments to the Tax Reform Act to increase fairness in the tax laws.
1977 Senator Kennedy, Senator Moynihan, House Speaker O’Neill, and NY Governor Carey (the “Four Horsemen”) issue a statement on St. Patrick’s Day condemning IRA violence in Northern Ireland.
1978 Senator Kennedy led the successful effort to deregulate the airline industry, enabling airlines to set competitive rates and reduce costs for consumers.
1979 Senator Kennedy becomes Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
1980 Kennedy campaigns to become the Democratic nomiee for president, but loses to Jimmy Carter. Kennedy introduced the Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act
1981 Senator Kennedy relinquished his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee to become Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.
1982 Senator Kennedy is the chief sponsor of the Voting Rights Act Amendments.
1983 Senator Kennedy becomes a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
1984 Senator Kennedy sponsors legislation requiring polling stations to provide accessibility for physically disabled and elderly people to vote in federal elections.
1985 Senator Kennedy introduces the Anti-Apartheid Act to impose economic sanctions against South Africa in response to pressure that government to end legalized racial discrimination in that country.
1986 Senator Kennedy sponsors several bills to assist persons with disabilities.
1987 Senator Kennedy supports a minimum wage increase and also the Welfare-to-Jobs Incentives.
1988 Senator Kennedy introduced the Fair Housing Act Amendments to extend the law to prohibit discrimination towards people with disabilities in the sale or rental of housing.
1989 Senator Kennedy won passage of the National Military Child Care Act.
1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted into law. Introduced by Senator Kennedy.
1991 Senator Kennedy was the chief sponsor of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Nephew William Smith was charged with raping a woman at the end of a night out with the senator.
1992 Senator Kennedy worked to expand Head Start by increasing the number of low-income children served by 25%.
1993 Senator Kennedy worked closely with President Clinton to expand opportunity for working families.
1994 Senator Kennedy brought about the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
1995 Patrick Kennedy (son) becomes the youngest member of the 104th Congress.
1996 Senator Kennedy and Senator Nancy Kassebaum sponsored the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
1997 With Senator Hatch, Senator Kennedy led the successful effort to enact the major Children’s Health Insurance Program.
1999 Senator Kennedy and Senator Jeffords also increased job training opportunities for unemployed and at risk by passing the “Work Incentives Improvement Act.” John F. Kennedy Jr., the senator’s nephew, and his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, die in a plane crash in the waters off Martha’s Vineyard.
2000 Senator Kennedy is the lead sponsor of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act.
2001 Senator Kennedy works with President Bush to pass the No Child Left Behind Act.
2002 Senator Kennedy was one of the first in Congress to speak out against going to war with Iraq.
2003 Senator Kennedy led an effort to provide funds for additional armored Humvees for our forces in Iraq.
2004 Senator Kennedy was a lead sponsor of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
2005 Senator Kennedy again sponsors legislation to increase armored Humvee production.
2006 Senator Kennedy sponsors the Family Opportunity Act.
2007 Senator Kennedy led the effort to pass the first increase in the federal minimum wage in more than 10 years.
2008 Senator Kennedy worked with Senator Enzi, with the help of Senator Mikulski, to pass the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Kennedy is diagnosed with brain cancer.
2009 Senator Kennedy championed the health and employment provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Kennedy was also a leader in passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Kennedy’s Health Committee was also the first committee in Congress to pass comprehensive health reform legislation called for by President Obama the Affordable Health Choices Act that will reduce health costs, protect individuals’ choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable health care for all Americans.
Aug 25 2009: Kennedy dies at his home, aged 77.
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