Charles Lindbergh



After Black Thursday, which was one of the major causes of The Great Depression, the nation needed heroes, or someone to simply lift the peoples spirits and that’s exactly what Charles Lindbergh did. The "Spirit of the St. Louis" caught the world by surprise and Charles became one of America’s first celebrities. Every aspect of his life was written in newspapers and magazines or broadcast over the radio, this is why it is so easy for me to tell you that Charles Lindbergh is a true hero.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born on February 4th, 1902 in Detroit. He grew up on a farm near Little Falls, Minn. When Charles was only a child he showed exceptional mechanical ability. At age 18 he entered the University of Wisconsin to study engineering but he became more interested in the aviation field than school, so after only two years he dropped out of school to become a barnstormer, a pilot who performed daredevil stunts at fairs.
Lindbergh enlisted in the United States army in 1924 so that he could be trained as an Army Air Service Reserve Pilot. He graduated the best pilot in his class from the army’s flight training school in 1925. He soon was working for the Robertson Aircraft Corporation of St. Louis, flying mail between St. Louis and Chicago.
By 1927 Lindbergh felt very confident in his flying skills and he thought he could win the Orteig prize. The Orteig prize was a prize of $25,00 awarded to the first person to fly non-stop from New York to Paris. Several pilots who attempted were killed or injured. All’s Lindbergh though he needed was the right airplane. He persuaded nine St. Louis businessmen to help him pay for the cost of a plane. He chose Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego to build a plane in which Lindbergh himself helped to design. He names the plane "The Spirit of St. Louis". This monoplane was small and a silver gray color.
On May 20th, at 7:52 a.m. Lindbergh left Roosevelt field near New York and landed at Le Bourget field, near Paris, on May 21st, 10:21p.m.(5:21 p.m. New York time) he had flown more than 3,600 miles in 33.5 hours. Overnight he became a hero on both sides of the Atlantic.
Lindbergh was honored with awards, celebrations and parades. Lindbergh was given the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Flying Cross from President Calvin Coolidge.
Lindbergh did a number of favors for the United States Government, flying to various Latin-American countries in December of 1927 as a symbol of American good fortune. While on one of these flights, he mat Anne Spencer Morrow, the daughter of Dwight W. Morrow in Mexico. Dwight was the American Ambassador there.
Charles and Anne got married in 1929. He taught her to fly and she served as copilot and navigator for him on many flights, and together they flew to many places all over the world.
On June 22nd, 1930 Charles Lindbergh Jr. Was born. On March 1st, 1932 young Charles jr. At 20 months was kidnapped from their new home near Hopewell, New Jersey. About 10 weeks later on May 12th, 1932 the child’s body was found in a shallow grave in the woods off the Hopewell-Princeton road. After much searching the police arrested Bruno Hauptmann, a carpenter, in 1934. Hauptmann was charged and convicted of murder. He was executed in 1936.
The kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s son led congress to pass the "Lindbergh Law". This law makes kidnapping a federal offense if the victim is taken across state lines or if the mail service is used for ransom demands.
After the Hauptmann trial in 1935, Charles, Anne and their 3 year old son Jon moved to Europe for privacy and safety. In 1938, a high Nazi official, Herman Goering presented Lindbergh with a German medal of honor. The people of the United States were not happy with Lindbergh’s acceptance of the medal. Some Americans accused Lindbergh of being a Nazi sympathizer because he refused to return the medal.
Throughout the next couple of years, Lindbergh spoke about his feelings on voluntary American entry into WWII. He served as a technical advisor and test pilot for the Ford Motor Company and United Aircraft Corporation. Lindbergh ended up flying about 50 combat missions in WWII.
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