1965: First Pope in New York

1965: First Pope in New York
Photo Credit To Wikimedia Commons

This day in 1965 marked the first time in history that a pope set foot on U.S. soil. Namely, on that day, Pope Paul VI made a pastoral journey to the USA. Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) was actually the first pope to travel outside Europe during his pontificate, and was also the first to travel by airplane.

In the USA, Pope Paul VI met with U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson, the successor of John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated two years later (Johnson was Kennedy’s Vice President and had thus succeeded him after the assassination). This was, however, not the first meeting of a pope and and American president. Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy had all earlier met the pope, but in the Vatican rather than the USA. In fact, Kennedy (the only Catholic U.S. president) met the pope only around four-and-a-half months before he was assassinated.

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