I was born toward the end of Truman's first term, but my earliest recollections are of Ike. I even have an "I Like Ike" button. My mother was crazy for JFK and we had to go out to see him when he came to our town (Norfolk, VA) during the campaign. When the open Lincoln Continental slowed to pull over the curb at the athletic field of the high school I would later go to, everyone rushed him. Folks were grabbing at him, it was pandemonium. I swear he looked at a buddy of mine who got up to the car (and was right in front of me) and asked him if he tore the button off his coat.
When he and his brother fought de jure segregation in the south, we didn't think much of him, feeling very picked on. I heard he was killed on my way to 10th grade geometry class and wasn't exactly torn up. But as the weekend wore on, it was the saddest, most oppressive feeling I can remember. I still regret my initial reaction - but kids are stupid, at least I figured out the magnitude of what had happened pretty quick.