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Charles A. Lindbergh
Charles A. Lindbergh was born on February 4, 1902, in Detroit, and past away in 1974. Lindbergh was an aviator who made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20-21, 1927. Other pilots had crossed the Atlantic before him. But Lindbergh was the first person to do it alone nonstop.
Lindbergh¹s flight suddenly brought him international fame. The press named him ³Lucky Lindy² and the ³Lone Eagle². Americans and Europeans idolized the young man and honored him.
The way this all started was that in 1919, a New York City hotel owner named Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 to the first aviator to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. A great deal of other men tried this challenge but many pilots were killed or injured while competing for the prize. By 1927, the challenge had not been done. Lindbergh believed he could win if he had the right airplane. He persuaded nine St. Louis Businessmen to help him pay for the cost of the plane. Lindbergh choose Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego to build his special plane, which he helped design. He named the plane Spirit of St. Louis.
On May 10-11, 1927, Lindbergh tested the plane from San Diego to New York City. The flight took 20 hours 20 minutes. On May 20, 1927 Lindbergh, the twenty five year old, took off with his specially built plane from Roosevelt Field, near New York City. He landed the next day on may 21, 1927. Thousands of people came to meet Lindbergh and cheer him on. He had flown 33.5 hours and more than 3,600 miles across the Atlantic ocean from New York to Paris.
Lindbergh¹s courageous flight thrilled thousands of people across the world. He was honored with awards, celebrations and parades. President Calvin Coolidge gave Lindbergh the Congressional Medal of Honor and the first Distinguished Flying Cross in American history.
In 1927, Lindbergh published a book about his transatlantic flight. And he also worked for several airlines as a technical adviser.
Back in those days people admired Charles Lindbergh the way that we admire our athletes today. To them Lindbergh was a role model, a hero.
³Lindbergh, Charles A.² The 1996 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. C-D Rom. Danbury, Ct.: Grolier Electronic publishing, 1996
³Lindbergh, Charles A.² The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book Inc., 1992. Vol.12, pp.290-291
Gary B. Nash. American Odyssey. Illinois: McGraw-Hill Publishing, 1992,1991