Nov. 22 marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Bring your kids to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to learn about this historical event. President Kennedy’s Air Force One, the Special Air Mission (SAM) 26000, will be available for tours at the museum’s Presidential Gallery.
“When visitors walk through this aircraft, they have the opportunity to be in one of the most historic places on earth,” said museum historian Jeff Underwood. “They can stand in a place that shaped American history.”
That place is where Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took his Oath of Office, and where the bulkhead had to be cut away to make room for President Kennedy’s casket. Air Force One (SAM) 26000 then carried the newly sworn-in president and Kennedy’s body back to Washington, D.C.
To access the aircraft, shuttle buses run from the main complex to the Presidential Gallery, located in a controlled-access area at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Four shuttle services per day will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors are encouraged to sign up early in the day as the buses will fill up quickly. A photo ID is required for those over 18; anyone 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
This U.S. Air Force Boeing VC-137C was built in 1962 and carried a total of eight presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton. Museum visitors can also explore behind the scenes panoramic interior photos of SAM 26000, as part of the free Cockpit360-degree app. The images are also part of the museum’s interactive 360-degree virtual tour at www.nmusafvirtualtour.com.
How to go
What: Tour Air Force One (SAM) 26000, in honor of the late President John F. Kennedy
Where: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, 1100 Spaatz St.
When: Four bus tours daily through Dec. 1; times are 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
More info: (937) 255-3286 or www.nationalmuseum.af.mil