I was 15 years old, watching TV (I think it happened on a weekend day) when they "interrupted this program." I remember it was just a typed graphic saying that an an astronaut had been injured in a fire. I am pretty sure they first announcement didn't say they had died. Shortly after that there was actual new reporting and we found out the 3 had died. It was very sad, because the astronauts were well known (Grissom was the bad luck astronaut who had lost his Mercury capsule when it sank into the ocean, and White had done the first space walk, which I listened to on the radio live. Chaffee was the rookie). Yet somehow, since it didn't occur in space, and given the enthusiasm for the space program at the time, it didn't seem to slow things down that much. If the astronauts had died in space, like with Challenger, I get the feeling we would not have made the decade-deadline to the moon that Kennedy promised. Overall, when you look at the decade of the 60s, when we went from suborbital flight to landing on the moon, all without the benefit of the computation power we have today, it is just astonishing what was accomplished. To wax a little poetic, back then we walked around looking up at the stars. Today we walk around bent over our cell phones. Oh well.