Lindbergh - History

Charles Lindbergh became the first person make a solo non stop crossing of the Atlantic, The flight lasted 33 hours and 30 minutes and created a new world record for distance (3,614) Lindberg was was a captain in the army reserve, won a $25,000 prize for being the first achieve the goal. Lindbergh flew a RYAN NYP named the Spirit of St Louis.

Germany and the America First movement

After a six-month stay in Britain, the Lindberghs traveled to Germany, where they were treated as honoured guests of the Third Reich. Charles visited centres of military aviation, where he assessed the pace of Germany’s rearmament, while Anne was fêted in Berlin. Lindbergh praised the Luftwaffe’s fighter and bomber designs, and he asserted that “Europe, and the entire world, is fortunate that a Nazi Germany lies, at present, between Communistic Russia and a demoralized France.” Lindbergh viewed the Soviet Union as the paramount threat to Western civilization, and his belief in the supremacy of airpower led him to conclude that Britain and France were effectively prostrate before the growing might of the Luftwaffe.

Throughout the late 1930s, Lindbergh traveled the globe as an ambassador without portfolio. He returned to Germany in October 1938, and Hermann Göring decorated him with the Service Cross of the German Eagle. While this led to considerable criticism, Lindbergh remained enormously popular with the American public. The Lindberghs were preparing to purchase a house in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee when the Nazis carried out the pogroms that came to be known as Kristallnacht on the night of November 9–10, 1938. Lindbergh and his family instead moved to Paris, before relocating to the United States just months before the outbreak of World War II.

Upon his return, Lindbergh became a vocal advocate for American neutrality. He viewed the European conflict as a fraternal squabble between an ascendant Germany and those countries which sought to deny it a place of power and prestige Germany alone, Lindbergh argued, could “dam the Asiatic hordes” and prevent the overrunning of Europe. In an essay for Reader’s Digest in November 1939, Lindbergh cautioned against “a war within our own family of nations, a war which will reduce the strength and destroy the treasures of the White race,” and he further pleaded, “let us not commit racial suicide by internal conflict.” Lindbergh was not the only person advocating for American isolationism based on notions of white supremacy, nor was he unique in suggesting that Jews were the single group most interested in involving the United States in the war in Europe. Anti-Semitic radio preacher Charles Coughlin embraced Lindbergh’s message, and Lindbergh’s public statements would serve as a prime impetus for the creation of the America First Committee in 1940. The group, which boasted a membership of 800,000, opposed American aid to the Allies and counted Lindbergh as its most prominent spokesperson.

During this time, Lindbergh was also acting as a high-level adviser to the U.S. Army Air Corps, and he carried on a personal correspondence with the commanding general, Henry (“Hap”) Arnold. Lindbergh’s argument for increasing U.S. defense capability found a supportive audience among military planners, but his strategic vision was blinkered by his belief that aviation was a uniquely Western innovation, “one of those priceless possessions which permit the White race to live at all in a pressing sea of Yellow, Black, and Brown.” At an America First meeting in October 1940, Lindbergh declared that “no nation in Asia has developed their aviation sufficiently to be a serious menace to the United States at this time.” A little more than a year later, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would demonstrate how fatally flawed that conclusion was.

The public debate over the war became a personal battle between Lindbergh and Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt. In April 1941, when Roosevelt compared Lindbergh to Confederate sympathizer Clement Vallandigham, Lindbergh responded by resigning his Air Corps Reserve commission. Throughout 1941 Lindbergh poured himself into the antiwar movement, speaking to crowds of thousands from coast to coast. Harold Ickes, secretary of the interior in the Roosevelt administration, who established himself as Lindbergh’s most effective and tenacious foil, publicly challenged Lindbergh to denounce Nazi Germany. Lindbergh declined. With even close friends and supporters like Robert E. Wood imploring Lindbergh to address the chorus of pro-Nazi accusations against him, Lindbergh instead went on the attack.

On September 11, 1941, at an America First speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Lindbergh identified the “the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt administration” as “war agitators” who had used “misinformation” and “propaganda” to mislead and frighten the American public. The response was immediate. Public support for Lindbergh evaporated, and the Des Moines speech was denounced as anti-Semitic and un-American. At a massive America First rally at Madison Square Garden on October 30, 1941, many attendees openly displayed Nazi sympathies. Lindbergh’s next speech was scheduled for December 10, but it was preempted by the Pearl Harbor attack. America First supporters voiced their belief that Roosevelt had found a “back door to war.”

By ship. paris.asp said: When he came home to America aboard the USS Memphis, a majestic convoy of warships and aircraft escorted him up the Chesapeake and Potomac to Washington. President Coolidge welcomed him home and bestowed the Distinguished Flying Cross upon him.

The crowd surged on The Spirit of St. Louis, and Lindbergh, weary from his 33 1/2- hour, 3,600-mile journey, was cheered and lifted above their heads. He hadn’t slept for 55 hours. Two French aviators saved Lindbergh from the boisterous crowd, whisking him away in an automobile.

The murder investigation

Undaunted by that setback, the search for young Charles continued, and the serial numbers of the bills paid to “John” were released to banks and published in major newspapers. The case took a tragic turn on May 12, when the child’s badly decomposed body was found less than 5 miles (8 km) from the Lindbergh home. An autopsy found that the Lindbergh baby had been killed by a blow to the head during or shortly after the kidnapping.

The U.S. Bureau of Investigation (now the Federal Bureau of Investigation) had, until the discovery of the body, been acting in a purely advisory capacity. On May 13, however, Pres. Herbert Hoover authorized the bureau to serve as the primary federal agency on the case, and the full resources of the U.S. Department of Justice were committed to the investigation of the crime. Public outrage led the U.S. Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act (known as the Lindbergh Law) on June 22, 1932—the day that would have been Charles’s second birthday. The Lindbergh Law made kidnapping across state lines a federal crime and stipulated that such an offense could be punished by death.

The bureau and the New Jersey State Police initially focused their efforts on Condon and on the Lindbergh household staff, but no concrete leads emerged. Condon aided the bureau in constructing a profile of “John,” and gold certificates from the ransom payment began surfacing in the New York area. Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order on April 5, 1933, stating that all circulating gold certificates must be exchanged for Federal Reserve notes by May 1, 1933. While this was done to prevent the hoarding of gold during the Great Depression, it benefited investigators by making the ransom money even easier to track. More than a year passed before the case had its major break, though, when a service station attendant in New York City recorded the license plate number of a man who had paid with a $10 gold certificate. Federal and local authorities traced the license plate to the Bronx residence of a German carpenter who matched the physical description of “John” that had been provided by Condon. On September 19, 1934, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested, and a $20 gold certificate from the ransom payment was found on his person.

Lindbergh - History

The history of the Lindbergh area goes back to the early 1800s when the factor of Fort Edmonton had a trail blazed north of the North Saskatchewan River from Edmonton to North Battleford, which then went on to Winnipeg. The area south of the river was disputed land for many tribes and the main source of buffalo. This trail became the Carlton trail and was used up to about 1900 when trains began to provide the main transportation on the prairies. The trail went from Onion lake past Ross Lake to the tiny area called Mooswa which had a telegraph station on the Dominion Telegraph Line. The NWMP patroled this trail on a regular basis.

The new province of Alberta was open for settlement and many early settlers floated down the river bringing many goods with them to set up their new farms. Some farming businesses in Lindbergh area started this way. Settlement also proceeded over many bad roads and isolated communities sprang up with just a post office, school and store and perhaps a community hall.

The coming of the railroad in 1927 effected the Lindbergh area immediately. The store and post office moved from Mooswa to Lindbergh and the tiny village began to grow. The income from working on the railroad also helped.

After WWII companies looking for oil and gas found some near the river and the Canadian Salt Company, with the settlement of Riverview, slowly emerged bringing more people to the area and providing a good source of off farm employment and new roads.

Much has changed in the Lindbergh area but it continues to prosper with a mix of employment from agriculture, salt and oil industries as well as service companies.

On Jun 22, 1930, Anne’s 24th birthday, the Lindberghs welcomed their first child, a son they named Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., or "Charlie." Almost immediately requests for photographs came in from the press and admiration flowed from the public. During this time, the Lindberghs were building a house in a remote area near the town of Hopewell, New Jersey.

On the night of Mar 1, 1932, the baby was stolen from his crib in a second-floor bedroom, while both Lindberghs and several staff were elsewhere in the house. A ransom note, a broken ladder propped against the outside wall, and other clues were discovered. The Hopewell house was turned into the headquarters of a police investigation, and over the next few weeks numerous letters and tips poured in.

Through go-betweens, the Lindberghs paid $50,000 in ransom to a man claiming to have information about the baby. When Lindbergh went to where the baby was said to be held, it turned out to be a hoax.

Ten weeks after the kidnapping, on May 12, the body of a toddler was found partially buried in the woods near the Lindbergh home. Charles Lindbergh identified the body as that of his son, who had apparently died the night he was taken.

What time period does The Plot Against America cover?

The novel’s alternate timeline is fairly straightforward, particularly toward the end of the novel, when Roth shifts from a first-person narrative to a day-by-day, newsreel-style account. Lindbergh soundly defeats Roosevelt in the November 1940 presidential election and, just weeks after his inauguration, meets Adolf Hitler to sign a so-called “Iceland Understanding” guaranteeing peaceful relations between the U.S. and Germany. A similar “Hawaii Understanding” paves the way for Japan’s unimpeded expansion across Asia.

The Jews of America find themselves subjected to increasing anti-Semitism and thinly veiled restrictions on their livelihood. The Office of American Absorption, established to encourage “America’s religious and national minorities to become further incorporated into the larger society,” indoctrinates Jewish teenagers by sending them to the country’s rural heartland for summer “apprenticeships” an initiative dubbed Homestead 42 similarly relocates urban Jewish families, framing forced relocation as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Some, like Philip’s parents, are convinced the government is attempting to “lull [Jewish Americans] to sleep with the ridiculous dream that everything in America is hunky-dory.” Others, like his aunt Evelyn and older brother, decry these fears as the result of a “persecution complex.” Needless to say, the Roth parents prove correct in their assessment of the situation, and before the end of the book, readers are treated to a dystopian vision of a country plagued by pogroms, fascist totalitarianism and the unmitigated reversal of the very rights Herman Roth previously cited as exemplars of America.

The fictional Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf (John Turturro) attracts the Jewish community's ire for his support of Charles Lindbergh. (HBO)

But The Plot Against America’s break from history is only temporary. By December 1942, Lindbergh has been vanquished, FDR is back in office, and the U.S.—reeling from a surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor—has entered the war on the Allies’ side. Despite this late arrival, the Americans still manage to secure victory in Europe by May 1945.

In truth, the “America First” mentality that enables Roth’s version of Lindbergh to win the presidency was fairly widespread prior to Pearl Harbor. At its peak, the America First Committee, founded by a group of isolationist Yale University students in 1940, swelled to 800,000 members recruited from all regions of the country. Lindbergh emerged as the movement’s biggest proponent, but other well-known figures were also involved with the committee: Among others, the list includes Walt Disney, Sinclair Lewis, future president Gerald Ford and future Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart.

America Firsters argued against U.S. involvement in the war, presenting themselves as the “pinnacle of American patriotism and American traditions,” says Bradley W. Hart, author of Hitler’s American Friends: The Third Reich’s Supporters in the United States. Members emphasized defense over offense and attempted to paint themselves as patriots “interested only in preventing” the number of “gold star mothers”—those whose children died in service—from growing, according to Hart. Though many members held anti-Semitic sentiments and sympathized with the Nazis, such opinions became an increasing liability as the war in Europe raged on.

During the first half of the 20th century, anti-Semitism was fairly widespread across the United States, manifesting at “every level of society and across the country,” writes historian Julian E. Zelizer in the Atlantic. Automotive titan Henry Ford published a propaganda paper blaming “the Jews” for all of society’s ills, while radio personality Father Charles Coughlin regularly spouted anti-Semitic sentiments to his audience of some 30 million weekly listeners. Even institutions like Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Princeton enacted anti-Semitic policies: As Zelizer writes, all four universities imposed quotas on the number of Jewish students admitted.

General view of a large crowd attending an America First Committee (AFC) rally circa 1941 in New York City (Photo by Irving Haberman / IH Images / Getty Images)

The America First Committee’s efforts culminated in a 1941 speech Lindbergh delivered at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. The aviator accused three groups—the British, the Roosevelt administration and American Jews—of “agitating for war.” Predicting that the “Jewish groups in this country … will be among the first to feel [war’s] consequences,” he argued that the “greatest danger to this country lies in [Jews’] large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.”

Critics roundly condemned Lindbergh’s words as anti-Semitic. Writing for the New York Herald Tribune, columnist Dorothy Thompson expressed an opinion shared by many, declaring, “I am absolutely certain that Lindbergh is pro-Nazi.” Republican presidential nominee Wendell Willkie called the speech “the most un-American talk made in my time by any person of national reputation.”

The America First Committee officially disbanded three days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Charles Lindbergh's Real Nazi Ties Are At the Heart of David Simon's The Plot Against America

The new HBO series based on Phillip Roth&rsquos 2004 novel takes place in an alternative history America, but the roots of the story are very real.

HBO&rsquos The Plot Against America, a miniseries from The Wirecreators David Simon and Ed Burns, adapts Phillip Roth&rsquos 2004 novel of the same name, telling the story of an alternative history United States in which Nazi-sympathizing aviator Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election, fueling violent anti-Semitism that upends the lives of American Jews. Though the story is a clear departure from the facts of American history during World War II, much of it is based on real life. The family at the heart of the series, the Levins, are based upon Roth&rsquos own family and childhood in Newark, New Jersey. And though Lindbergh never became president, he remains infamous as one of America&rsquos most prominent Nazi sympathizers. Here&rsquos what you need to know.

Who was Charles Lindbergh?

Lindbergh was born in 1902, to the son of future Minnesota congressman Charles August Lindbergh. As a young man, he became interested in aviation, and trained with the US Army Air Service before becoming an air mail pilot.

In 1919, French-American hotel owner Raymond Orteig announced that he would award $25,000 to the first pilot to make a nonstop flight between New York and Paris. Eight years later, the 25-year-old Lindbergh claimed the prize, flying for 33-and-a-half hours from Long Island, New York, to Paris. British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown had become the first pilots to cross the Atlantic in a non-stop flight in 1919, when they flew from Newfoundland to Ireland, but Lindbergh was the first solo pilot to accomplish the feat.

When he landed in Paris, more than 100,000 people arrived to greet him, and the good-looking young pilot instantly became a global celebrity. American president Calvin Coolidge awarded him a Distinguished Flying Cross, while Congress gave him a Medal of Honor. Lindbergh was named Time&rsquos first-ever Person of the Year, and the 25-year-old remained the youngest honoree for more than 90 years, until 16-year-old Greta Thunberg snagged the title in 2019.

He married Anne Morrow, a future author and daughter of a successful businessman, in 1929, and the two eventually had six children. Their eldest, Charles Lindbergh Jr., was born in 1930, but was kidnapped from the family&rsquos New Jersey home in 1932. The toddler&rsquos body was later found in the woods near their home, and his abduction and murder was so widely covered that it became known as one of the crimes of the century. A German immigrant, Richard Hauptman, was eventually convicted of the crime and executed in 1936.

What was his involvement with the Nazis?

Lindbergh was a national hero who had suffered a great and very public tragedy&mdashhe&rsquod accumulated about as much goodwill as any celebrity could. But his actions in the years leading to World War II irreparably damaged his reputation.

With Germany building up its military might in the 1930s, the United States government asked Lindbergh, then living in Europe to escape the hounding of the American press, to tour the nation&rsquos flying fleet and report his findings. He was vocal about his admiration for German&rsquos aircraft technology, and, during a 1938 dinner at the home of the US ambassador to Germany, was awarded a medal from Luftwaffe commander Herman Göring on behalf of Adolf Hitler himself. Kristallnacht, which found 7,000 businesses owned by German Jews destroyed while tens of thousands of Jews were taken to concentration camps, was just a few weeks later. Facing pressure to return the medal, Lindbergh refused.

Lindbergh wasn&rsquot shy about his white supremacist and anti-Semitic beliefs. In 1939, he wrote for Reader&rsquos Digest that Americans &ldquocan have peace and security only so long as we band together to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood, only so long as we guard ourselves against attack by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races.&rdquo According to him, Hitler &ldquoaccomplished results (good in addition to bad) which could hardly have been accomplished without some fanaticism.&rdquo

His wife was a fan of Hitler, too, writing in a letter home that the dictator was &ldquoa very great man, like an inspired religious leader&mdashand as such rather fanatical&mdashbut not scheming, not selfish, not greedy for power, but a mystic, a visionary who really wants the best for his country and on the whole has rather a broad view.&rdquo

&ldquoA few Jews add strength and character to a country, but too many create chaos,&rdquo Lindbergh wrote in a 1939 diary entry. &ldquoAnd we are getting too many.&rdquo

His father had opposed America&rsquos entry into World War I, and as German aggressions mounted, Lindbergh adopted a similar stance. He became a spokesman for the America First Committee (sound familiar?), which advocated for the US staying out of the European war, and counted among its 800,000 members future Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart and president Gerald Ford. It also included some of the nation&rsquos most prominent anti-Semites, like Lindbergh&rsquos close friend Henry Ford. (When asked what they talked about during Lindbergh&rsquos visits to Ford&rsquos plant, the automaker reportedly replied, &ldquoWhen Charles comes out here, we only discuss the Jews.&rdquo) And Lindbergh was one of the organization&rsquos spokesmen.

In early 1941, Lindbergh testified before Congress in opposition of the Lend-Lease Act, which eventually passed and allowed the US to offer aid to Allied nations. In September of that year, Lindbergh delivered an infamous speech in Des Moines, Iowa. In The Plot Against America, Herman Levin listens to the speech on the radio. In the deeply anti-Semitic speech, Lindbergh blamed American Jews for the tilt towards war. &ldquoTheir greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government,&rdquo he said. Even by the standards of the day, the remarks were considered outrageous. The Des Moines Register condemned it as being &ldquoso intemperate, so unfair, so dangerous in its implications that it cannot but turn many spadefuls in the digging of the grave of his influence in this country.&rdquo

The America First Committee disbanded on December 10th, 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor made war truly unavoidable. Lindbergh would fly combat missions as a consultant for Ford&rsquos B-24 manufacturing company, though his effort to rejoin the air force was shut down by FDR. Later, historian Arthur Schlesigner would write of an effort by isolationists to urge Lindbergh to run for president as a Republican opposing FDR in 1940, which inspired Roth to write The Plot Against America.

His reputation permanently tarnished by his Nazi sympathizes, Lindbergh died in Hawaii in 1974. But his affection for Germany survived the war: He fathered seven secret children in the nation during the 1950s and &lsquo60s by three women that included a pair of sisters.

World War II

While he lived in England, Charles Lindbergh observed as Europe descended into war. As a flyer, he could see the danger posed by Germany’s growing air force. He also noted how poorly prepared the British, French, and Russian air forces were in comparison with the Germans.

Just as his father had believed that America should not become involved in World War I , Lindbergh believed that America should avoid entering World War II. He believed if the U.S., British, and French remained armed but neutral that Germany and the Soviet Union would exhaust themselves fighting each other in an eastern war. He became the most popular speaker for the America First Committee, an antiwar organization. His opinion about staying out of the war was not popular, and many began to wonder if he was actually on the side of the Germans.

After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, however, Lindbergh changed his mind and joined the war effort. He went to work for Henry Ford as a consultant in the production of B-24 bombers. Later he worked as a consultant for the United Aircraft Corporation on the Navy and Marine Corps’ F-4U Corsair. He even managed to fly fifty combat missions in the Pacific.

Lindbergh's Influence on Aviation

Before Charles Lindbergh made the first solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in May 1927, most Americans—including many North Carolinians—thought it too dangerous to travel by airplane. Two United States Army pilots had made a nonstop transcontinental flight in 1923, and navy commander Richard Byrd had flown over the North Pole in 1926. But the average citizen in 1927 still preferred to do his or her traveling by car, ship, or train.

Lindbergh’s flight changed that. When the twenty-five-year-old former airmail pilot safely landed his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, at Le Bourget Field near Paris, France, after a 33½-hour flight from Long Island, New York, on May 20–21, 1927, Americans gained a new confidence in air travel. Suddenly, everybody wanted to fly. In 1929 more than 170,000 paying passengers boarded United States airliners—nearly three times the 60,000 that had flown the previous year. Almost 3 million more—most of them businesspeople—traveled in private planes in 1929. Even Mickey Mouse took to the air, mimicking Lindbergh’s flight in the 1928 Walt Disney cartoon Plane Crazy.

Because of Lindbergh’s flight, aviation stocks soared. For a short time, even the stock of a small eastern company called Seaboard Airline saw activity—until it was discovered that the corporation was actually a railroad. As financial investors came forward, more and more fledgling airlines began to emerge. By the end of the 1920s, there were forty-four scheduled United States airlines, and many nonscheduled ones. Commercial airplanes began serving Raleigh in September 1929. One line flew passengers to New York, and another offered service to Charlotte and Atlanta. A Richmond, Virginia-to-Atlanta flight soon began making stops in Greensboro and Charlotte, and one from Richmond to Jacksonville, Florida, made stops in Raleigh.

After his transatlantic flight, Charles Lindbergh used his fame to promote the development of aviation. At the request of the Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, Lindbergh toured the United States in the Spirit of St. Louis during the summer and fall of 1927. Traveling a total of 22,350 miles, he visited seventy-five cities and dropped messages over towns where he couldn’t stop. In North Carolina, Lindbergh visited Greensboro and Winston-Salem on October 14–15, 1927, and dropped messages over Salisbury and Lexington.

To prepare for Lindbergh’s visits, cities across the nation groomed their airports, and those without facilities built them. Greensboro’s Lindley Field, later to become the Piedmont Triad International Airport, was dedicated in May 1927, just five months before Lindbergh landed there. Regular airmail service began at the airport the following year, and regular commercial air passenger service from Greensboro to Washington, D.C., started in 1930. Inspired by Lindbergh and local aviation pioneers Dick and Zachary Smith Reynolds, Winston-Salem also began its airport in 1927. Clint Miller gave the materials, grading work, and his name to Miller Municipal Airport, which Lindbergh helped to dedicate during his visit to the city. The airport would later be renamed Smith Reynolds Airport in memory of Z. Smith Reynolds, who became the nation’s youngest licensed pilot at age nineteen and died at the age of twenty-one.

Among the crowd listening to Lindbergh’s speech at the dedication of Miller Municipal Airport in 1927 was nine-year-old Thomas H. “Tom” Davis. Inspired by Lindbergh’s words, Davis decided to pursue a career in aviation. He earned his pilot’s license at age sixteen and founded Piedmont Airlines in 1947, at the age of twenty-nine. The North Carolina–based airline became the nation’s seventh largest before merging with USAir in the late 1980s.

While young Davis was listening to Lindbergh in Winston-Salem, another nine-year-old boy, Robert Morgan of Asheville, was following Lindbergh’s national tour in the newspapers and clipping articles about it to keep in his scrapbook. During World War II, Morgan became the pilot of the famous Memphis Belle, the first B-17 bomber to complete twenty-five missions over Europe—and without losing any crew members.

Another North Carolinian, William A. “Bill” Winston of Wendell, became a minor celebrity after Lindbergh’s flight, when the media learned that he was the Army Air Service sergeant who had given Lindbergh his first “official” flying lessons, at Brooks Field in Texas in 1924. Lindbergh even wrote about Winston in WE, the 1927 autobiographical book about his famous flight. Winston later became a master pilot for Pan American World Airways and was one of the first American pilots to make more than a hundred transatlantic flights.

Immediately after Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight, newspapers began comparing it to the Wright brothers’ first flight at Kill Devil Hill in 1903. The attention sparked an effort to establish a national memorial to the brothers. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, a North Carolinian, had first raised the issue in 1913. Fourteen years later, Congress passed a bill authorizing the Wright memorial. Orville Wright was present at the laying of the cornerstone in 1928, but Lindbergh was not. The young aviator had been invited to attend the ceremony but reportedly declined at the last minute, not wanting to detract any attention from Orville and his accomplishment.

Lindbergh continued to influence aviation throughout his life. In 1931, with his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, serving as copilot and navigator, Lindbergh charted international air routes for new commercial airlines flying across Canada to Asia. Two years later, the Lindberghs flew 30,000 miles mapping out commercial routes across the Atlantic. During World War II, Lindbergh worked with Ford Motor Company as a consultant on B-24 bomber production and then served as a technical adviser and test pilot for United Aircraft. Later, he went to the South Pacific to study fighter planes’ capabilities and to teach pilots how to conserve their fuel so they could increase their bombing range. As a civilian adviser in the Pacific theater, Lindbergh actually flew about fifty combat missions. On at least one sortie, he shot down a Japanese plane.

Seventy-six years after his famous transatlantic flight, North Carolinians still have reason to remember and to celebrate Lindbergh. To learn more about the man, his flight, and his legend, visit Lindbergh, a traveling exhibit produced by the Missouri Historical Society.

At the time of this article’s publication, RoAnn Bishop was an associate curator at the North Carolina Museum of History.

References and additional resources:

Image credits:

"Charles Lindbergh, wearing helmet with goggles up, in open cockpit of airplane at Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri," 1923. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-68852.

"Mayor Thomas Barber and Colonel Charles Lindbergh at Miller Municipal Airport with Lindbergh’s airplane, the Spirit of St. Louis," 1927. Courtesy of the Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.

Watch the video: History Brief: Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis (January 2022).