JFK Shot: Other Presidents & First Ladies React

Truman and his daughter Margret, Ike and Mamie Eisenhower in front of President Kennedy‘s coffin. Like millions of people across the globe, there was horrified shock among those who had once held the position of President of the United States and First Lady, and most of those who would someday follow, when they heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated. Hoover and JFK 1960. The dean of former Presidents at the time was 89 year old Herbert Hoover. Although a Republican Hoover not only knew Kennedy well but liked him. The former President was a longtime friend of Kennedy’s father Joe. Hoover even served as a liaison for him to Richard Nixon after JFK defeated the Vice President in the 1960 election. When Hoover heard the news at the his apartment in the Waldorf-Astoria he was so shaken that his son feared for his health and rushed to stay overnight with him. Former President Hoover with then-Senator John F. Kennedy. Unable to attend the President’s funeral, Hoover asked his two sons to represent him, one at the service in the U.S. Capitol, the other at the funeral. He died just eleven months later. In Missouri, former President Harry Truman was at lunch in Kansas City’s Muehlebach Hotel when he was told of the shooting. He immediately headed home and heard on the car radio that Kennedy had died. JFK meeting with Truman in the Oval Office, 1961. “I was very much shocked and hurt when I heard,” Truman told reporters. “He was a good man, an able President, and he did a good job. And it’s too bad these things have to happen particularly by some good-for-nothing fella who didn’t have anything else to do than to try and take the head of state away from us. Bess Truman was recuperating in bed from a serious bout of influenza when she heard the news on the radio. She would be risking a relapse if she flew in the late November weather to Washington to participate in the public funeral and events, especially around so many thousands of others.

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Categories: First Ladies, Presidents, Presidents Together, The Bushes, The Carters, The Eisenhowers, The Fords, The Hoovers, The Kennedys, The Nixons, The Reagans, The Trumans

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