Where they were when JFK died

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

“I was on my honeymoon at a hotel in Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, when I noticed the flag at half-staff.  I asked why.  ‘Because the president of the United States has been assassinated,’ we were told by a man at the desk.  My husband and I tried to call home, but all the lines were jammed.  So we got on the first plane and flew back to San Francisco. It was a death in the family that we felt so strongly and emotionally. All we wanted was to come home to America.”


Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)

“It was November 1963, and I was a senior in high school chemistry class. I remember an announcement came over the PA system that said that President Kennedy had been shot. Shortly after, another announcement came over the PA saying that President Kennedy had died. We were all sent home early from school, and we left in shock. Later that night, my dad said the blessing before dinner and he cried. It may have been the only time we ever saw him cry.” 

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.)

“I was 13 years old and in the eighth grade at Sacred Heart School, a Catholic school in Southampton, N.Y., I remember very clearly our principal coming in and whispering something to our teacher, both of them looked absolutely stunned. Later, we were told what had happened in Dallas, and I and my friend Vic were asked to lower the American flag to half staff. I remember going to basketball practice, but we were all very much in a daze.”

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.)

"I was standing in front of my class at C.A. Brown High School in Charleston, S.C., when the principal came on the PA system to announce that the president had just been shot. I was standing in front of my classroom teaching world history. We went into some kind of a silence, but they didn't cancel classes. The rest of the day was just very somber." 

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas)

[Hall was a Democrat at the time.] "I was a state senator then and the governor had invited us to meet with the Kennedys [that night]. I had known him. I thought he was a helluva guy."