Nation: The Transfer of Power

Inside Air Force One, trembling with the vibration of its idling engines, Jackie joined a sad and shaken group waiting for Lyndon Johnson to take his oath of office.

The plane's sweltering, gold-carpeted "living room" was crowded with 27 people. At Johnson's right was his wife Lady Bird. Behind them ranged White House staff members; Larry O'Brien and Kenneth O'Donnell were in tears; the shirt cuffs of Rear Admiral George Burkley, President Kennedy's personal physician, bore bloodstains. Federal District Judge Sarah T. Hughes, a trim, tiny woman of 67 whom Kennedy had appointed to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!