Sunday was the 46th anniversary of President John Kennedy’s assassination. Two hours and 8 minutes after Kennedy was shot, Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn aboard Air Force 1. The hastily arranged swearing-in ceremony marked a number of firsts in American history.

  • The ceremony was conducted by Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes, making Johnson the first — and thus far only — U.S. president sworn in by a woman.
  • Air Force 1 was still on the ground at Love Field Airport in Dallas when the ceremony was conducted, giving Johnson — a proud Texan — the distinction of being the only U.S. president sworn in on Texas soil.
  • Johnson, who was not Catholic, is the only U.S. president to take the oath of office using a Catholic Missal. The Catholic prayer book was used because aides could not find a Bible aboard Air Force 1. Johnson was not the first president sworn in without a Bible. Shortly after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt took the oath without using a Bible or any other book. Franklin Pierce affirmed the oath of office in 1853 using a law book, as did, John Quincy Adams in 1825. Adams used a law book that contained a copy of the U.S. Constitution.
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