96 50′ 9.85" W; 32 50′ 42.22"N


Jonathan Massey, the principal architect for Corgan Associates on the current reconfiguration of the Love Field terminal here in Dallas, last summer first heard the question of the location of the Boeing 707, N26000, which served as Air Force One when Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn-in as President on the day President Kennedy was assassinated. According to a story today in the Dallas Morning News, the spot had never been marked and was long forgotten.

Massey, attentive to detail like only an architect can be, apparently went on a personal crusade to discover not only the exact location of the airplane, but that of President Johnson when he took the oath. From photographs, diagrams and floor-plans, and other documents long gathering dust in archives and museums, including our own Sixth Floor, he finally determined, within inches, where LBJ actually stood. It is 96 50′ 9.85″ W longitude; 32 50′ 42.22″N latitude. This has to give a new meaning to precision, or maybe obsessive compulsiveness.

Speaking of compulsiveness, can I add my own? David Flick, the staff writer who authored the new item reports that only four other presidents have taken the oath of office outside of Washington (George Washington, Chester Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge). I believe it is actually five. John Adams was inaugurated in Philadelphia, which was serving as the national capital while Washington, D.C. was still being built – and it wasn’t named “Washington” at the time.

May I add one more observation. Four Presidents have been assassinated while in office, and there have been fourteen known attempts (which include, as of recent, President Obama) of varying degrees of competence. Only Lincoln’s murder, the attempt on Truman, and, possibly, McKinley’s assassination were organized political conspiracies. The others, despite the efforts of those with various agendas, have not proven to have been anything other than the work of obsessive compulsive nut cases. I emphatically include Lee Harvey Oswald’s terribly unfortunate success.

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