51 years ago on January 22nd, 1970
The first Boeing 747 enters commercial service on a Pan Am route from JFK Airport to London Heathrow
Pan Am was one of the first to place orders for the new, larger aircraft, and began their rollout with the christening of an airplane in Washington D.C. by First Lady Pat Nixon. Planes were put on display at airports for a few days for the public to see, then the first flight took off for London, but not without a few glitches that modern travelers can relate to: Engine problems before takeoff caused a two-hour delay after which all passengers had to transfer to another 747 that was brought in to complete the flight.
After Pan Am filed for bankruptcy, a farewell party was held at JFK featuring the plane, 32 years after it entered service.