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LBJ Library and Ohio Pols battle over historic plane

A tug-of-war is developing between members of the Ohio congressional delegation and former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s Presidential Library at the University of Texas-Austin over a not-so-small piece of American history – an Air Force Boeing 707 that LBJ was aboard when he was sworn in as president following President Kennedy’s assassination.

The jet is currently on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.

The LBJ Foundation raised millions of dollars and planned to build a pavilion by the LBJ Presidential Library to house the airplane, but Republican Rep. Michael Turner of Dayton and Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio oppose the move.

The aircraft ended its service in the presidential fleet in 1998 as a backup plane. Another Boeing 707 that replaced the disputed aircraft and was subsequently retired is now housed at the Reagan Library in California.

During the last few months of the George H.W. Bush administration and into the Clinton presidency, the 707s were replaced by Boeing 747s as the president’s primary aircraft.

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