Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31 - Idlewild Airport

Idlewild Airport in Jamaica, NY, on Long Island was officially dedicated on July 31, 1948, by President Harry Truman, who hailed it as the “front door” to the United Nations. The UN’s headquarters had just been started that year in Manhattan. Initial construction of runways was begun in 1943 to relieve congestion at LaGuardia Airport. The facility’s name came from the Idlewild Golf Course that it displaced, but its actual name was New York International Airport-Anderson Field (in honor of an Army major) until it was renamed in December 1963 for President John F. Kennedy, one month after his assassination. The airport had six runways and a seventh under construction in 1948; they were modified in the late 1960s to accommodate Boeing 747 jumbo jets. Pictured: Pan American World Airways opened the Worldport terminal, with its broad “flying saucer” roof, in 1960. It will soon be demolished. Trans World Airlines opened the TWA Flight Center, designed by Eero Saarinen with its distinctive “winged-bird” shape, in 1962. It has been renovated.

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