Where were you when you heard?

 Posted by on May 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm  Season 3, Season 6
May 022013

Mad Men, The Grown-Ups, Peggy and Duck in bedWe’ve seen our characters in the act of hearing tragic national news. I think many of us have joked that Peggy and Duck are among that select group of people who will never be able to answer the “Where were you when you heard?” question. This time Peggy has a much more respectable answer.

Peggy has avoided in-office shenanigans since her first affair, with Pete. Duck was no longer a co-worker when she entered into her fling with him. It’s pretty obvious that Ted wants to change that. We were led to believe that Nan Chaough was giving Ted the fish-eye because she didn’t want him sitting with Peggy, but then it became clear it was that she saw Abe standing there, waiting for a seat. Sitting in her boyfriend’s seat, ho-ho! I wonder what that means?


  30 Responses to “Where were you when you heard?”

  1. As good as the non-verbals were at that table, I loved Ted’s line as he allowed Abe to take his seat (paraphrased): Honey, you wanted to see Paul Newman. Here he is.


  2. I was in my living room on 48th Avenue. I was pretty young. I remember I didn’t really know the difference between Martin Luther King and Adam Clayton Powell.

  3. I was 10-years old and lived in NC. My older sister and mom were on a bus trip to Greensboro to see Icecapades (sp). My Dad was a traveling route salesman with several rural routes. When we heard Dr. King was dead, we all were afraid for the ones who were not at home because of the possible trouble they could encounter in the streets. Everyone made it home by very late and early the next morning. A very, very lonely time is what I recall with the feeling that there is no hope for us now.

  4. Living in a suburb of Boston and only 12 I didn’t know exactly the implications of the shooting but I vividly recall my mother suddenly crestfallen while folding the laundry. The black and white tv set was going and the report really was over my head but Mama’s reaction to the news has stayed with me.

  5. My “where were you” is more of a “where WEREN’T you”.

    I was in graduate school in Edinburgh that year, and we had a longish break in April. Being young and foolish, 3 friends and I headed for the Highlands and Islands for a couple of weeks (foolish because April in Scotland is cold, damp, and we were doing the hostel route…we were the ONLY people at each of the hostels we visited). When we got back to Edinburgh, I was unpacking and had my radio on and one of the broadcasters made a reference to “the late Dr. Martin Luther King.” I had to go out and find someone in my residence hall who’d been around during our break to confirm that the broadcaster hadn’t misspoken.

    1968 was an amazing year to be out of the US. What I remember missing was the widespread student riots, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.

    I often think that I inadvertently picked the most eventful year of the 20th century to be far far away. Not that I regretted it, but an amazing number of events and cultural changes happened in 1967-68, and instead of being in the thick of it, I was so far away that I didn’t even know about most of them until well after the fact.

    • But were you in Paris in May?

      • I had plans to head there but the ’68 student riots & barricades in Paris made travel there difficult (although I don’t recall why…it wasn’t like the rioters were based at the airport…). I had a job interview scheduled there but it got cancelled due to travel difficulties, and in lieu of finding a job overseas, I eventually returned to the US and….got a job as a junior copywriter in advertising in NYC–essentially the same job Peggy got once she managed to escape from the secretarial pool. All in preparation for becoming obsessed by MM 50 years later. Small world!

  6. I was 7 and I don’t remember.

    I remember Lee Harvey Oswald being killed (but not JFK). I remember exactly where I was when I heard about John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Keith Moon. I remember every moment of 9/11.

    But I don’t remember April 4, 1968.

    • The reactions of my parents to the assassinations of the 1960’s are distant memories.

      Like you, I shall never forget 9/11.

      Now, before every flight, I look at my fellow passengers and quietly vow to live up to the standard Todd Beamer set for us all on UAL flight 93.

      No one will ever run my plane into a high value target. Ever.

  7. This I posted on another thread re murder of MLK:

    “When MLK was murdered I was a toddler and we lived in public housing. Rioting crowds lit our building on fire and I vaguely remember having to run down many flights of stairs and lots of smoke and police hitting people outside with billy clubs (seeing the beatings in the late 60s is a bad memory for me…happened alot in Chicago). There weren’t many anglo-looking families in the neighborhood, and my mom’s best friend (african amercan) lived in the building and vouched for our family because in riot, people attack who they think is responsible in a broad sense. We didn’t get attacked and our apartment wasnt robbed unlike others, and we stayed in their apartment a few days. Everyone cried for weeks I am told [*I do not remember], everytime neighbors ran into each other or if they just got to thinking about it they’d cry.”

  8. In November 1993 because I was just back from a month on location and had to report to a hospital on Sunday for Monday surgery, I had that Friday off. I did not have an AM radio in my station wagon. That morning I took some of our pets to the veterinarian. When I brought them home I found my wife in tears from the news JFK had died. Then on Sunday, when I did get to my hospital room the TV was not activated. That happened a few seconds before Ozwald was being led by Dallas police. There was no time delay so I saw Ruby do the shooting live.

    In February 1968 I was recalled to active USMC duty and was deployed In Country in Viet Nam. The day before MLK was murdered we were pinned down in a fire-fight that lasted 36 hours. During that fight we received no outside news. I felt so helpless that my family, wife and kids had to go through that while I was far from home on duty.

    My deployment In-Country lasted until September 1968 so I was away when RFK was murdered at the old Ambassador Hotel. Up to then that was the go-to hotel for moderate size trade shows and movie industry functions. I had been in that kitchen many times before then and never could face it after I got home. By then the Century Plaza Hotel had taken over as the place for important functions.

  9. I had just turned 6 the day before MLK was killed. I don’t recall my parents’ reactions, but I remember his funeral being on a Saturday and interrupting my Saturday morning cartoons. Then two months later, RFK’s Saturday am funeral did the same thing. I just remember being mad that all these sad funerals were interrupting my cartoons. Obviously, I had no idea what it was all about.

  10. I was 9 in November of ’63 and in the 4th grade at a Catholic elementary school in the DC suburbs. The principal, a nun from Texas, named Sister Helene, came on the P.A. to tell everybody to stop what they were doing and pray for Our President. I remember being let out of school early. When I got home, my Mom was watching the coverage on TV. I had an afternoon newspaper route for the Washington Daily News. The papers normally got to me by 3:30 or 4:00, but with the developments ion Dallas, they literally ‘stopped the presses’ to re-do the front part of the paper. It was after dark when they finally arrived, so I could deliver them. Even though it was late, none of my customers seemed upset and most wanted to talk a little about the tragedy. It was almost 50 years ago, but I remember that day and the events that unfolded the rest of that awful weekend, like it was yesterday.

    • Strangely enough, I don’t have any memory of when I heard about Dr King’s death, but I definitely remember the following night, April 5th. By that time, I had a morning paper route delivering the Washington Post. Being young and stupid back then, I decided to go out that evening to collect the monthly home subscription fees from my customers, since all hell was breaking loose in DC, just a few miles to the north of Alexandria VA, they’d surely be home.

      A couple blocks from my house, I knocked on the door of one subscriber. The porch light came on and after a moment, the lace curtains on the door window pulled back a crack and the man inside looked at me intently. I heard the various sounds of him operating the bolts, locks and the security chain, before the door opened slightly. I announced my reason for being there, the door opened and he told me to come in and I did.

      Once inside, I noticed that the guy was wearing a holster on his belt, with what looked like a .38 pistol in it. He asked, “What the hell are you doing out tonight? Don’t you know they’re burning DC?”

      I told him I knew, but figured that my customers would be home.

      Across the room, there was a shotgun propped up against a piano. He pulled out his wallet and paid me quickly, telling me, “If you have any damn sense, you’ll get your ass home!”

    • In the wee hours of June 5th, 1968, (around 1 AM, as I recall) Bobby Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, shortly after giving a victory speech after winning the California Democratic Primary.

      At around 5 AM (EDT) I was just waking up, so I could make the rounds on my Washington Post newspaper route. The papers were dropped off about a block from by house. I remember getting the papers unbundled and packed into my carrier bag, when my older brother came speeding up on his bicycle (he also had a route in a another neighborhood, not far away). He was out of breath as he told me excitedly, that our newspaper manager had just told him he’d heard on the radio that RFK had been shot, a few hours earlier. There was no immediate word on his condition, but it was known that he’d been shot in the head.

      Later that morning, I went to school (same one as in ’63, but by this time, I was just finishing up 8th grade). I took my transistor radio to class and my teacher, Sister Elizabeth, said I could listen with the earphone and report any details I heard, to the rest of the class.

  11. Remember both events like it was yesterday.

    I was in first grade, living in Panama (Canal Zone), in November 1963. It had rained all day and right after we returned to school from lunch break (yes, we went home for lunch) we had a typical tropical rainstorm. During the storm, my fellow students and I noticed something going on with the teachers and the office staff. All the adults started crying… and they told us that the President had been shot and killed and that we were going home early. My father, who was in the Navy, was in charge of taking some officers off shore until they the government was certain that the assassination was not part of a Russian plot.

    April 4, 1968, I was almost eleven and was watching Daniel Boone on my bedroom TV when NBC interrupted for the bulletin about MLK. It think it was Edwin Newman. I remember being upset…. but not totally shocked as I had heard adults mention that someone might try to kill him.

    Both very sad events… unfortunately, memories that I guess I will take with me to my grave.

  12. When JFK was shot, I was in the 6th grade in Little Rock Arkansas, someone came on the intercom and reported the news and told us to pray. We did, and then our teacher told us we could draw with our colored pens. About 15 minutes later we were sent home on a bomb “drill” , kind of a variation of the drills we had when we went through the Cuban missile crisis. We, and this was about 20 kids on our street, walked the 1 or so miles home totally convinced the Russians were going to bomb us. When MLK was shot in Memphis in 1968 , I was in Little Rock Central High School. I clearly remember some of the things that were said, and some of the things that were done,,,really scarey. The dilemma was did we go to school or stay at home in case there was trouble? I went because my mother was totally convinced that nothing bad was going to happen. It was a very bad time, nothing was making sense, and the world changed even if people refused to accept it.

  13. On November 22, 1963 I was in my first grade classroom when one of the janitors came in and told us that the president had been shot. I have no memory of any of my classmates, but I can still picture that janitor. Not long after that, the same janitor came back and told us the president was dead.

    My mother was watching TV two days later when we heard her yelling “I think they shot him!” We all rushed in to find that Oswald had been shot.

    I don’t have as vivid a memory of the MLK assassination. I know I was watching TV (don’t remember what show) and it was interrupted by a special bulletin announcing what had happened. I think the reason I, and so many others of my age, cringed for decades whenever there was an interruption in the regular TV schedule is because of the 60’s assassinations. We’d see that “Special Bulletin” come up and were certain something horrific had happened.

    I have a better memory of LBJ announcing he wouldn’t run again in 1968, which happened only a few days earlier. My parents and some of my aunts and uncles were talking in the lving room (Was it Passover? Maybe that’s why the relatives were there.) and I was in the den watching the president’s speech (strange that a 10-year-old was the only one interested, but I was a bright kid), which he ended by saying he wouldn’t run for re-election. I got up and told the adults that Johnson wasn’t going to run and they didn’t believe me, figuring I’d misunderstood, When they went in to see for themselves, I was proven right (That’s probably why I remember it so well. It’s very gratifying for a 10 year old to prove to grownups that he’s right and they’re wrong.)

    I remember seeing the news that RFK had been shot, then going to bed without knowing if he had survived. When I came downstairs the next morning, my older sister told me he was dead. I remember not being surprised. I guess by then I had already learned to expect the worst.

  14. JFK — Sister Agnes Loyola, the music nun, came into my sixth grade classroom and told us the President had been shot. We immediately took out our rosary beads and prayed. When the President died, they sent us home.

    My mother closed her card and gift shop; most of the other stores in our blue-collar neighborhood – closed for the rest of the day. Except for the luncheonettes which fed the bus drivers and mechanics from the bus barn across the street. And the bar on the corner. But the dry cleaner, the shoemaker, the radio and TV repair shop, the meat market all closed.

    MLK — My aunt Margaret called my mom and told her to turn on the TV. We were still in that blue-collar neighborhood, which was (to use the great urban term) “changing.”

    Many people in the neighborhood were torn in their feelings. Some people were bitter because “the coloreds” were moving into the neighborhood. I remember some time that weekend, one of my cousin’s friends (who had just gotten back from Vietnam) gave his uncle a serious talking-to about how the black soldiers were just as brave and nobody was asking their color in the foxhole.

    BUT, MLK was in Memphis to support the janitors’ union. And there were lots of union members in the neighborhood. The bus drivers and mechanics (like my dad) took it very hard. AFSCME had come out in support of their strike a few years before. Two of my uncles were UAW and very upset (UAW head Walter Reuther is very visible next to MLK in the March on Washington).

    RFK — I was getting ready for school. We weren’t doing much. Our last day was that Friday. My friend Dodie called. I was a wreck for a week.

    I’m still not sure I’ve ever gotten over Bobby Kennedy getting killed.

  15. Generations are defined by what follows when you start a question with “Where were you when…” I’m picturing a couple of decades from now when someone will do a TV show about the 1980s and 1990s, and we’ll be remembering where we were when the Challenger exploded and when Princess Diana died. Those are my “Where were you when…” moments.

    • Forgot to add that I hope Mad Men covers Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. That’s just over 15 months away, and they’ve got one more season left.

      • I hope Matt Weiner includes this too, Taiga.

        I also hope he includes some of the “it as all faked” stories too.

        • I’m guessing that Harry will the be person who thinks it was faked. He’ll see it as a form of a ratings stunt for the government. I could also see Ginzo joking about how it was faked. The moon landing would make for a great end of episode moment. I can them cutting to each person watching on television, or listening on the radio. It would be a way to show where each character is.

    • The night Princess Diana died, I heard a British announcer say “Now she goes to the head of all the women in history” (which I thought she would have agreed was a terrible insult to women, not to disparage her) and realized that mass hysteria was about to break out in Britain.

    • I remember how Columbine dominated the news for weeks. I attended a small private school, but my classmates were still very scared.

  16. I was five when JFK was shot – probably in Kindergarten – but have no recollection of it. I vaguely recall (his?) coffin on TV – drawn by a horse and carriage – this was only four months before The Great Eathquake – which I well remember.

    The MLK assassination came and went without my notice – no riots in Anchorage so far as I knew. My first ride on a jet was two months later. It was a wide body – two aisles. My sister recalls that it had an upstairs – so it was a 747 and not a DC-10. My Grandmother and Aunt picked us up the next day and Mom asked about RFK (the first I’d heard). “Oh, he’s gone” said Esther.

    The first live TV event I saw was the Apollo 11 launch. I didn’t catch the landing on TV – but read about it in the newspapers (we had two back then).

    Like Deborah I knew where I was when I heard the report about Lennon – pulling an all-nighter at home preparing a lab report for a college class. The radio kept me company – every hour on the hour: “John Lennon is dead”.

  17. I was born in the 80s. Our big events were 9/11, the Iraq War, natural disasters, shootings, bombings, and celebrity deaths. I didnt even know 9/11 happened until my 1st period class (which started at 10:30 so the towers had already fell), I didnt have a cell phone at the time.

    When Michael Jackson died, I was cleaning my house and arguing with my ex boyfriend.

    When Whitney Houston died, I was on a bus on my way to a night snow tubing event.

    Hurricane Sandy (I live in NYC), I was at home watching a movie waiting for my power to go out (it never did, my lights were flickering though).

    Bin Laden got captured and killed, I was at home hanging out in my room.

    • I was one of the first people in my school to know about 9/11. It was second period, so it would have been between 9 and 9:45. Two older students came in and said “The World Trade Center’s been bombed.” In the hallway en route to my next class, I just head snatches. We didn’t get the full story (as much as there was a full story that day) until an assembly at 10:40.

      What’s creepy, is that my mother was one of the first in her school to know that JFK was killed. The classroom she was in had a view of the flagpole. The school must’ve made an announcement about the shots earlier in the day, so when she saw the flag being lowered, she knew.

  18. My mom was pregnant with me when JFK was killed; I don’t remember the deaths of either MLK or RFK, but I remember the Moon landing and the Beatles breaking up.

    John Lennon died when I was in HS; I went to say good night to my parents, Connie Chung (who was an anchor in L.A.), said “John Lennon shot to death; film at 11”. I didn’t go to bed until after midnight.

    I was in college when Challenger exploded; a friend asked me if I’d heard, and I said “no”, waiting for the punch line.

  19. I was 4 when JFK was assasinated, and like Jahn Ghalt recall seeing some of the funeral on TV.

    No recollection of MLK’s assasination.

    When Challenger failed, I could see the smoke plume from outside the hotel I worked in Tampa. I was teaching Kindergarten and taking my kids early to the playground when a construction worker told me about 9/11, the morning it happened.

    I’m still scared. Yesterday, my school went on a modified lock-down because a Kindergartener was missing (her mom had her)…I could tell several of my second-grade kids were freaked out by the very tense tone of voice my assistant principal had, on the intercom.

    My school is from the 1920s, so whenever the door doesn’t close shut all the way, one of my students (and it’s always the same one) gets up and closes it to. Her way of coping. :O(

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