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Mayor Wagner Pushes Name Change for Idlewild Airport in Honor of JFK

Dec. 4, 1963 - Mayor Robert Wagner (pictured right Nov. 23) announced today that he would urge the New York City Council to change the name of New York International Airport at Idlewild to John F. Kennedy International Airport. A bill to establish the new name as a memorial to President Kennedy will be introduced in the Council next Tuesday on the Mayor’s behalf by Councilman Thomas Cuite, Democrat of Brooklyn. Mr. Wagner will submit to the Council a message of necessity in an effort to assure prompt approval of the measure. The Mayor said he had received “thousands of communications from my fellow New Yorkers” urging the city to memorialize the President. “The renaming of the world center of air transportation in memory of the late President Kennedy would indeed be a fitting and lasting tribute,” the Mayor said. The airport, which opened in 1948, has been known and referred to principally as “Idlewild,” despite its official title. The field is operated by the Port of New York Authority under a 50-year lease from the city; the lease will run until 1997.

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