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One of the greatest heroes the world has ever known Charles Augustus Lindbergh. He is most famous for his transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. Lindbergh acquired great fame for doing “good will” tours in Latin America. Other than politicians and war heroes no one has yet quite matched his fame. He was a genus when it came to aviation and mechanics. He advised the making and design of several planes from ones made of wood and wire to supersonic jets. He helped several countries and airlines by giving them advise on their air fleets. He wrote several documents of his journeys and of his life.
Charles Lindbergh entered this world on February 4, 1902 in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in Rapid Falls, Minnesota on a family farm. His father’s name was Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Sr. He was a lawyer and a congressman for the state of Minnesota between the years of 1907 and 1917. His mother’s name was Evangeling Land Lodge. As a child Lindbergh showed that he had a great deal of mechanical ability. When he was eighteen years old he began attending the University of Wisconsin. While at Wisconsin he majored in mechanical engineering. During his time at the university he paid more attention to the growing field of avaion than he did to his studies.
In 1924 Charles Lindbergh enlisted in the United States Army so he could begin studying on how to be a fighter pilot. One year later he graduated from the Army flight training school that was held on both Brook’s field and Kelly’s field. He graduated as the number one pilot in his class. After that he bought his own airplane and for the next six years of his life he spent flying an airplane for Robertson Aircraft Corporation. The planes filled with mail he flew from St. Louis, Missouri to Chicago, Illinois. During this time he was also a barnstormer which is a stunt pilot that does stunts over fairs and other public gatherings. During this time he received a reputation of not only being a cautions pilot but a quite capable pilot as well.
A New York City hotel owner named Raymond Orteig started the Orteig Prize. The Orteig Prize was a twenty five thousand dollars for the first man to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo and without stopping in between. Many pilots were injured or even killed trying to win the Orteig Prize. Raymond Orteig started the competition in 1919 and Charles Lindbergh had begun to take interest in it in the year 1926. In 1927 when somebody had yet to win the Orteig Prize Lindbergh found nine St. Louis businessmen to sponsor him because he thought with the right plane he would have no problem flying across the Atlantic Ocean. The businessmen began to promote the flight. That right plane was known as the “Sprit of St. Louis”. Ryan Aircraft Company in San Diego built the “Sprit of St. Louis”. He gave the “Spirit of St. Louis” a test drive from San Diego, California to New York, New York making one stop in St. Louis. That flight took twenty hours and twenty-one minutes setting a new transcontinieal record.
Charles Lindbergh started his transatlantic flight in Roosevelt Field on Long Island; the time was seven fifty two a.m. He flew from Roosevelt Field to Le Bourget Airport in Paris. He landed at ten twenty two P.M. on May 21. It took him thirty-three and half-hours to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. He traveled three thousand six hundred miles until he finally reached Paris. At the airport one hundred thousand people gathered after hearing that he was sighted flying over Ireland. A few days later he flew to Croydon Airport in London. It was dark when he landed and there were not many people there to witness the landing. As a result of having few people there, there were no photographs taken. When he returned to America there were several photographers waiting to get a picture of him. The press began to give him nicknames such as “Lucky Lindy” and the “Lone Eagle”. The world instantly made him a hero and an international celebrity. Lindbergh was a shy, slim young man that was showered with honors. The President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge presented Charles Lindbergh with the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
In 1927 Charles Lindbergh published a book called “We” it is about his transatlantic flight. “We” refers to Lindbergh and the “Spirit of St. Louis”. After he published the book he flew all around the United States promoting airmindedness on behalf of Daniel Guggenheim. While doing this he learned about research that Robert Goddard was doing on rockets. Lindbergh persuaded Daniel Guggenheim to support Robert Goddard’s experiments on rockets. Robert Goddard’s experiments led to the early development of missiles, satellites and space travel.
After flying around the United States, Charles Lindbergh began to fly to Latin American countries to promote “good will”. On his “good will” tour he made a total of eighty-two stops and traveled twenty two thousand miles in two hundred sixty hours and forty-five minutes. He did this on behalf of the United States government. While doing this he met his wife in 1929. Her name was Anne Spencer Morrow. Anne was the daughter of Dwight Morrow, a United States ambassador to Mexico. After their marriage Lindbergh taught his wife to fly an airplane. Then him and his wife went on several flying expeditions all around the world. His wife became famous not just because she was married to Charles Lindbergh but because she wrote excellent poetry and other writings.
On June 22, 1930 Charles and Anne Lindbergh had their first child and his name was Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. Then on February 23, 1932 their son was kidnapped. This was just after they had moved to a new home in Hopewell, New Jersey. The newspapers followed the case closely. The public demanded daily updates. Then on May 12, 1932 the body of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. was found in a shallow grave. The grave was just of the Hopewell-Princeton Road. Bruno Richard Hauptmann was convicted of the crime and executed for it. The publicity of the ordeal caused the Lindbergh’s with their other son Jon Lindbergh to move to Europe for safety and privacy. Hauptmann could not actually be executed for kidnapping and the child’s death was said to be accidental. He could not even be executed under the “felony murder” doctrine because kidnapping was not a felony in New Jersey. However the public and prosecutors wanted the death penltity so Hauptmann was convicted of breaking an entry and stealing pajamas, which is a felony in New Jersey. This allowed him to be e
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