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.


  1. Craig October 1, 2023 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Is there a water ferry that goes to Southie currently, or is silver line the only option?

    • Maureen Dahill October 2, 2023 at 10:34 am - Reply

      There is not yet…just the silver line.

  2. Mary. cooney October 1, 2023 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    I never knew this history. Thank you your well written report

  3. LJSC October 3, 2023 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    Nice to know the history. Thank you for sharing Shane! Where is he laid to rest?

  4. chrisropher moses October 4, 2023 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    great read. I’m OFS and did not know this. thanks

  5. Tom Hayden October 4, 2023 at 10:21 pm - Reply


    Very nice work! Congratulations.

    I’d like to add a not well known story of another Southie native and his (almost) connection to the airport.

    In 2012 I wrote a short history of Boston Technical High School, now the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science and originally named Mechanic Arts High School, from which I graduated in 1957. My work is called No Smoking In The Triangle and can be found online at the Internet Archive. Here’s an excerpt from it.

    “In June 1927, just one month after Charles Lindbergh’s pioneering flight to Europe, Army Lt. Albert F. Hegenberger ’13, from South Boston, flew as navigator/co-pilot on the first non-stop flight from the United States mainland to Hawaii. Although not a solo effort like Lindbergh’s, Hegenberger’ s feat of successfully navigating to a destination as small as Hawaii in a 25 hour flight covering 2400 miles was a much more technically demanding one than locating Europe. Lindbergh himself is said to have called it “the most perfectly organized and carefully planned flight ever attempted.” For their accomplishment, Lt. Lester J. Maitland, the pilot, and Hegenberger were each awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by President Calvin Coolidge. Separately, the War Department awarded the pair the Mackay Trophy for the most meritorious flight of the year.”

    “In July 1927, after a round of receptions in cities around the country, Lts. Hegenberger and Maitland visited Boston. There, they were presented to an admiring crowd of 25,000 people in South Boston by Maj. Gen Edward L. Logan, commander of the 26th (Yankee) Division, Massachusetts National Guard. A bill was introduced in the state legislature in January 1928 to rename the Boston Airport in East Boston as the Albert F. Hegenberger Aviation Field to honor the lieutenant. However, the bill was killed in May, supposedly because it was a universal custom to name airports after dead aviators, not living ones. As it turns out, the airport retained its original name until 1952, when it was named after Gen. Logan – who never even flew in an airplane.”

    After reading your story I realize that 1952 was not the year the airport was named for Gen. Logan.

    Though I believe Albert Hegenberger was probably deprived of an honor he rightfully deserved, I think Logan is a much better sounding airport name than Hegenberger would have been. But perhaps the tower at Logan could have been named for Hegenberger, who later became a Major General during World War II.

    This South Boston native was no one-trick pony, however. As I also relate in my Boston Tech history, “In May 1932, at Patterson Field in Dayton OH, he again made aviation history. Flying a standard Army airplane equipped with special instrumentation, Capt. Hegenberger took off – alone, with no check pilot – with the cockpit completely covered, flew ten miles away from the airport, then circled and returned to make a perfect landing. Although other instrument-only flights had been flown previously, including one by his friend Jimmy Doolittle, Hegenberger’s was the world’s first solo flight using only instruments. He was awarded the Collier Trophy and another Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment.”

    Quite a guy, wasn’t he, this Hegenberger. Southie can be proud of him.

    Tom Hayden
    Chelmsford, MA

  6. Mike Thomas October 5, 2023 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    On 9/11/01, it is said, that Logan was the only international airport in the united states’ without surveillance cameras in it’s departure lounge area.
    Shane McCauley,
    Is this true ?
    Thank for your research !

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