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Charles Lindbergh was a man of many accomplishments. In his time, everybody loved him.
Charles was well known all over the world. He was a hero, he represented all that could
be accomplished in the future. He was a figure for doing what nobody else thought could
be done. Lindbergh was one of those people that everyone else wanted to be.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born in Detroit on February 4, 1902, to Charles
Lindbergh, Sr., and Evangeline Land Lodge. Yet, he grew up in a small town in Nebraska.
Lindbergh was a whiz with mechanics. By age twelve, he was in charge of driving
and fixing the car. In high school, he assembled a tractor from a mail order kit. When he
was eighteen he entered the University of Wisconsin to study engineering. He found he
was more interested in flying, so after two years of college, he dropped out and became a
barnstormer, which was a pilot who performed daredevil stunts at fairs, and airshows.
Lindbergh was a favorite among the crowds. People would travel from all different places,
even Europe, to come see his daredevil tricks.
In 1924 Lindbergh enlisted in the U.S. Army so he could be trained to be a pilot.
During this time he was given the nickname “Lucky Lindy'; because he would attempt
daredevil stunts with his airplane, and always seem to evade punishment from upper
officers. In 1925 he graduated as the top pilot in his class. He soon began working as a
mail deliverer between St. Louis and Chicago.
Lindbergh soon heard of an offer given in 1919 by a New York hotel owner named
Raymond Orteig. The offer was this: the first aviator to fly nonstop from New York to
Paris would receive 25,000 dollars. Nobody had succeeded by 1927, and Lindbergh
decided he could do it if he had a suitable plane. Remember, in 1919 this was a very scary
thing to do! There was no radio on your plane, so if it went down, you could not call for
help, and nobody would know where you were. Also, there was no coast guard, no search
and rescue teams, so if you crashed, you were dead. He arranged for nine St. Louis
businessmen to help him finance his plane. A company in San Diego called Ryan
Aeronautical Company was chosen to construct the plane, which Lindbergh helped design.
The plane was named "The Spirit of St. Louis". A transcontinental record was
immediately set in a test run when Lindbergh flew from San Diego to New York City in
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and a half hour journey across the ocean.
After this flight, Lindbergh became an international celebrity. He was honored
with awards, celebrations, and parades. Some of his more esteemed awards were the
Congressional Medal of Honor and the first ever Distinguished Flying Cross, both given to
him by President Calvin Coolidge.
Lindbergh was later asked by the United States government if he would fly to
various Latin-American countries as a symbol of American good will. Some of the
countries were Guatemala, British Honduras, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica,
Panama, and perhaps most importantly, Mexico. It was in Mexico that he met Anne
Spencer Morrow, daughter of the American ambassador there. Charles and Anne were
married in 1929. Charles taught her to fly and they went on many expeditions around the
world, charting mew routes for airlines. Anne was also a famous poet and writer. On his
trips around the world Linbergh also met with a French surgeon named Alexis Carrel.
Lindbergh, since he did do engineering, teamed up with Carrel to create and artificial heart
pump. This was the first recorded attempt at creating one. However, experiments were
eventually given up for an unknown reason. Carrel and Lindbergh are co-authors of the
book, The Culture of Organs, in 1938.
Disaster soon struck in the Lindbergh family. On March 1, 1932, Charles Augustus, Jr.,
their twenty-month-old son, was kidnapped. Which attracted nationwide attention. Ten
weeks later his body was found. In 1934 a German born carpenter, Bruno Hauptmann,
was convicted of the crime. And he was later found guilty of the crime and executed. In
1935, due to the pestering of reporters, photographers, and curious onlookers, Charles
and Anne took their three-year-old, Jon, and moved to Europe in search of privacy
In Europe, Lindbergh toured many countries, and continents, observing their air
forces. He soon joined the German air Force, and accepted an award from Adolf Hitler.
Lindbergh praised the German Air Force, saying that it was of superiority to all others in
In 1939 Charles Lindbergh returned to the United States. A once U.S. hero, he
was now scowled upon by Americans. He was criticized as being pro-German, as he
toured the U.S. giving speeches of Germany’s goodness, and telling of why nobody should
wage war with them. He was forced to resign his commission in the air corps reserve and
his membership to the NACA1. However during World War II Lindbergh was a consultant
to aircraft manufacturers. He helped design many of the great fighters of WWII. Including
the infamous corsair. He was also sent on cargo missions by the U.S. Air Force to far off
places such as Hawaii, and Europe.
Charles Lindbergh relates to todays movie and rock stars. He was looked up upon
by many people of his time. There was no television that people could get famous on.
Most of the time, on half of the United States did not even know what the other half was
like, who was there, etc. Lindbergh found a way to make his name live on forever.
The achievements of Charles Lindbergh were many. They ranged from setting
world records to assembling farm supplies at a young age to helping in the advancement of
science. I am glad that I was able to learn about these things, and I am glad to know that
a man that has done so much will not be forgotten, but will be remembered through his