In the hours after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Air Force One became the center of gravity in American government.
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ABOUT THE PLANE
The Boeing 707 that served eight presidents at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has a storied history. Here are a few of the Air Force One jets famous trips:
President John F. Kennedy flew to Berlin for his famous speech to hundreds of thousands about his soldarity with the German city caught in the grip of East and West during the Cold War and the building of the Berlin Wall.
President Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office aboard the aircraft on Nov. 22, 1963, the day Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
President Richard M. Nixon flew to China, the first trip of an American president to the People’s Republic of China.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger flew to Paris, France for secret peace talks to end the war in Vietnam.
Boeing assembled the aircraft in in 1962, the first ever built specifically for a president. The jet set 30 speed records by 1963, including the fastest, non-stop journey between Washington, D.C., and Moscow.
The intercontinental aircraft can reach speeds of 600 mph and has a 6,000 mile range.
SOURCE: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
HOW TO SEE THE AIRCRAFT
The Air Force One presidential aircraft that carried President John F. Kennedy’s body back to Washington, D.C., after his assassination in Dallas, Texas is on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio.
Museum visitors must present a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, to sign up for a shuttle bus trip to the Presidential Gallery that houses the historic jet. The Boeing 707 is in a hangar on a restricted access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and seats on shuttles are limited.
Shuttle buses will run four trips a day to the hangar. Military and Department of Defense civilian workers with a military-issued identification card may access the hangar by private vehicle.
The gallery is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Dec. 1.
Local residents remember that tragic day in 1963 and we talk with Sid Davis, an Ohio man who is one of the few living people who were on board Air Force One and in the motorcade during the assassination.