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.
Rookstool donated the marker to Dallas that will be imbedded on Thursday to mark the spot at the airport. He also donated an identical marker that will be available for viewing inside the airport since the spot on an aircraft taxiway apron is off-limits to the public.
“A lot of important history happened at this spot,” Rookstool said.
The city plans to install a directional light so people inside the airport terminal can see the marker, Mitchell said.
Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney
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