New York Idlewild/John F. Kennedy
The facility opened in 1948 as New York International Airport and was commonly known as Idlewild Airport. Following John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, the airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport as a tribute to the 35th President. The opening ceremony was attended by an estimated 215,000 spectators from around the world, including 500 journalists. The opening was accompanied by a huge military exhibit costing USD 10 million and included a flyover of the greatest number of bombers, jet fighters and other military aircraft ever assembled in peacetime at the time.
Other highlights were addresses by both President Harry S. Truman and Governor Thomas Dewey, who were rivals for the presidential election later that year, and who appeared together for the first time for the opening.
With the opening of the new airport, all transcontinental and transatlantic flights were shifted from La Guardia to Idlewild Airport. La Guardia was left to serve flights within an approximately 1,500-mile (2,400-kilometer) range. By the end of August, Air France, KLM, Sabena, Swissair and SAS were operating transatlantic flights out of Idlewild. In September, National Airlines, the first US carrier to move in, started service.