Dispute Over LBJ Oath Historical Marker at Love Field

Fifty-three years ago, Dallas Love Field played a critical role in presidential history.

It's where Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson took the presidential oath of office after President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

A Dallas man wanted to make sure no one forgot that, but now he says all his hard work is going by the wayside.

"It's frustrating," said Farris Rookstool, a professional historian.

Rookstool says he spent three years and $8,000 trying to embed two bronze markers at Love Field – including one on the exact spot where LBJ took the oath of office after Kennedy was pronounced dead.

"It's the single most important event to take place at this airport and at the city of Dallas," Rookstool said.

He planned on embedding the second marker and a presidential seal on a wall inside the terminal, overlooking the spot on the Tarmac.

He says the city of Dallas – which owns the airport – agreed to the installation.

But more than a year later, "I was misled by the city of Dallas because spending all this thousands of dollars in time and effort as my gift to the community is for not," Rookstool said.

In a statement, a city of Dallas spokesperson said:

"We appreciate Mr. Rookstools' donation of two brass markers, and in 2015 one of the markers was placed in the location where former President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in.

"Employees at Dallas Love Field Airport have been working on a commemoration inside the terminal looking out onto the airfield.

"We look forward to sharing that moment with those who helped identify the location in the near future."

But Rookstool says he won't be part of the picture.

Friday, he picked up his bronze plaque from the airport, disappointed to be taking home the idea he wanted to share with the world.

"What's sad is millions of people come here to the airport and have no idea that right out there is where history was made," he said.

Contact Us