Though it’s not something you’d hear everybody celebrating, last month was the 100th anniversary of Boston Logan International Airport, which opened on September 8, 1923. In honor of that, let’s explore some lesser-known intricacies of the beloved airport’s history.
The airport is named for Southie native, veteran, and first-generation Irish-American Edward Lawrence Logan. Born in 1875, Logan enlisted in the Massachusetts National Guard during his senior year at Harvard and ended up serving in the Spanish-American War in 1898. In 1901, after an unsuccessful run for the House of Representatives, he graduated from Harvard Law School, and in 1906, he served in the State Senate for a year. In 1917, the regiment Logan commanded in the National Guard—the 101st Infantry—was mobilized in France, becoming the first to arrive there.
After his service, Logan remained a fierce advocate for veterans’ rights, becoming president of the National Guard Organization of the United States. He died in 1939, and four years later the state of Massachusetts renamed “Boston Air Port” in his name. Today, Logan is remembered for his dedication to his regiment and to veterans’ rights, especially for lobbying for aviators to receive veteran benefits.
Given its opening so early in the history of aviation, it may not be too surprising that BLA began its life as only a military base. Six years later in 1929, though, the airport would begin offering passenger service to and from New York.
Air travel only truly became mainstream after World War II—during the baby boom, around the same time the airport was renamed. Fittingly, in 1949, BLA gained new land and terminals along domestic and international routes with flights serving to London. In 1956, Massport became the sole owner and manager of the airport, which led to controversy when the agency planned—and later built—a new airport runway on East Boston’s Wood Island Park.
In 1967, Logan’s oldest still-running terminal, C, was built, and seven years later, Terminal E—serving a large array of international flights—arrived, signaling a new global era. Its newest, Terminal E, opened in 2005. Nowadays, Logan is the 19th busiest airport in the United States.
While Massport hasn’t unveiled many new plans for the airport, there are talks of a new Intermodal Transportation Center which synergizes multiple modes of transportation. At such a center, dropoff and pickup stations for app rides, high-occupancy vehicles, and water ferries would all exist right next to each other.