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People across U.S. transfixed by emotional Ford, Kavanaugh testimony

As Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh choked back tears during hours of emotional testimony on Thursday, so too did people across the United States.

Aboard trains and planes, in bars and workplaces across the country, Americans captivated by hearing

People at a Boston bar watch Christine Blasey Ford testify during the final confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

As Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh choked back tears during hours of emotional testimony on Thursday, so too did people across the United States.

In college lecture halls, doctors' offices and commuter trains, Americans sat captivated by their phone screens, TVs, radios and computer monitors as Ford gave an exhausting, first-hand account of her alleged sexual assault to the U.S. Senate judiciary committee and Kavanaugh vehemently attempted to clear his name and salvage his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

From thousands of feet in the air, people on flights watched the hearings unfold from seat-back TV screens.

Ron Lieber, a columnist with the New York Times, tweeted during a flight to Salt Lake City: "16A: Crying. 14B: Crying. 17C: Weeping."

"I am one of the criers," Lieber later added, as people started sharing their own experiences watching and listening on flights or in airport lounges from Dallas to LaGuardia.

On commuter trains and subways, people were plugged in, too.

Students on college campuses and high schools watched from classrooms. Some said they were watching from work or while at the doctor's office. One woman tweeted she was watching the hearing in hospital with her father, who is undergoing chemotherapy. 

Elsewhere, people crowded around televisions at bars and organized watching events.

Even Wall Street, one of the country's most notoriously frenetic, raucous workplaces, took on a more muted atmosphere.

"[I] could decipher nearly every word of the hearing anywhere I walked," tweeted Brad Smith, an anchor at Cheddar, the business news network. 

As protesters crowded on Capitol Hill, staffers and lawmakers alike stopped to watch the hearing, before the Senate judiciary committee, which marked a crucial juncture in Kavanaugh's nomination process. One photo posted to Twitter showed people eating lunch in a Senate cafeteria where all the screens were turned to CNN so people could watch Ford and Kavanaugh testify.

Kavanaugh's confirmation was once considered a sure bet, but turned into an acrimonious battle for Republicans after Ford's sexual assault allegation was initially reported. Two other women have since come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. 

As Kavanaugh and Ford gave clashing testimony, many women shared personal stories in solidarity with the Palo Alto University professor. Others spoke of the difficulty of hearing Ford's story and reliving their own experiences.

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