Recalling how her teachers stormed out of class the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice didn’t resemble the pawn of the George W. Bush administration so many believed her to be.

“I heard her wail, ‘Oh my God the president is dead. The president is dead and there’s a Southerner in the White House. What's going to become of us now?’” Rice said, referring to Lyndon Johnson.

Rice spoke at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum yesterday to promote her new book. “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family” recounts her middle class upbringing in the Jim Crow South.

Critics have panned the book for its lack of self-criticism of her White House years.

“Today’s headlines and history’s judgments are not the same,” Rice said on Thursday. “I’ll let history judge.”