Dallas airport to mark spot where LBJ was sworn in as president

Tue Sep 1, 2015 8:30pm EDT
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By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - Love Field airport in Dallas will install a brass plaque to mark the spot where Air Force One sat while Lyndon Johnson was sworn in on the plane as president after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, officials said on Tuesday.

Johnson was hastily administered the oath of office to become the 36th president about 90 minutes after Kennedy was pronounced dead on Nov. 22, 1963, after he was fatally shot while riding in a motorcade through Dallas.

But the spot where the aircraft was parked had been uncertain for nearly five decades until architects used 3D models with photos taken by an air traffic controller on the day of the assassination.

“There was a lot of triangulation involved," said Terry Mitchell, assistant director of aviation for the city of Dallas.

The search was aided by the 2011 discovery by the Sixth Floor Museum, which chronicles the assassination, of a photo taken of the plane from a Love Field roof by the air traffic controller.

"People in the past have asked us about the spot and that’s how we got interested in identifying and marking it," he said.

The architects were taking part in a major Love Field renovation and were given the detective work as part of the project.

JFK historian and former FBI analyst Farris Rookstool III supplied blueprints he owns of Air Force One that further helped determine where the ceremony took place.   Continued...

U.S. Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson (C) takes the presidential oath of office from Judge Sarah T. Hughes (2nd from L) as President John F. Kennedy's widow first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (2nd from R) stands at his side aboard Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas, Texas just two hours after Kennedy was shot in this November 22, 1963 photo by White House photographer Cecil Stoughton provided by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.  REUTERS/JFK Library/Cecil Stoughton/The White House/Handout