Why Lyndon Johnson's Air Force One Crew Installed A Fake Temperature Control

When Lyndon B. Johnson served as vice president and president, he became very fond of flying aboard SAM 26000. This plane, referred to as Air Force One when the president was on board, and Air Force Two when the vice president was flying, would frequently carry Johnson around the globe while in office. Johnson loved traveling, logging more than half a million miles on Air Force One during his presidency (via Military.com).

During his time as vice president, Lyndon Johnson often complained about the temperature in the cabin. The flight crew eventually became fed up with his constant demands, so they installed a fake temperature control in the conference room for him to use. This must have worked, because Johnson did not bring up the temperature again, nor did he seem to notice that his new thermostat had no effect when he used it (via the Museum of Flight).

Johnson had other modifications made to Air Force One

Lyndon B. Johnson's extensive use of Air Force One resulted in several additions being installed on the plane. Besides the fake thermostat from when he was vice president, other modifications were made to SAM 26000 while Johnson was president. This included the installation of doggy doors, which allowed his two beagles, Him and Her, to come and go from the conference room whenever they pleased. Johnson was obsessed with his dogs, and he would frequently bring them along with him during his travels (via Military.com). 

Johnson also had his office on Air Force One modified to his liking. It featured a giant leather chair surrounded by couches for people to gather around to work. His aides dubbed his large chair "the throne." While these additions were far from the craziest features on Air Force One, they were unique to Johnson's presidency. 

He held a press conference nude aboard Air Force One

Perhaps one of the most infamous parts of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency was when he held a press conference nude while on Air Force One. According to White House reporter Frank Cormier's book "LBJ: The Way He Was," Johnson started undressing during the middle of a Q&A session. He "shucked off his underwear... standing buck naked and waving his towel for emphasis," the book reads. In his defense, it was reportedly a very hot day, but it made everyone in the room more uncomfortable than any amount of heat could (via Business Insider).

Lyndon B. Johnson was a puzzling character during his time as vice president and president, and the stories of his time aboard Air Force One seem to highlight this. Johnson was far from being the only strange character that has held the presidential office, but his presidency had a lot of interesting moments that highlighted his unique personality.