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Charles Lindbergh Flies Across The Atlantic Ocean – On ‘This Date In Central Minnesota History’

1927 photo of Charles Lindbergh (Stearns History Museum)

LITTLE FALLS – May 21st, 1927Charles Lindbergh becomes first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Lindbergh made his name in a small single engine plane with five sandwiches and a quarter of water. The twenty-five year old Charles A. Lindbergh’s historic non-stop flight from New York to Paris may have taken thirty-three hours, yet his fame is still recognized today.

Charles Lindbergh grew up on a little farm in Little Falls along the Mississippi. Just like his father before him, young Charles inherited his father’s pioneering spirit. August Lindbergh, Charles’ grandfather, was a pioneer of Melrose. He helped to build the town of Melrose, served as its town clerk and postmaster, and began its first school. Following this energetic man was his son, Charles. Charles Sr. served as a distinguished lawyer and outspoken congressman. After serving five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, he was endorsed by the Non-partisan League for governor of Minnesota in 1918. Pioneers in their fields, Charles was next in line to come into his family’s ambitious nature.

Charles Jr., the future hero- aviator, was born Feb. 4, 1902. Early in life Charles displayed an interest in flying. Charles Lindbergh enjoyed tinkering with machinery and was fascinated with flying. After graduating for high school in Little Falls in 1918, he entered flying school in 1922 at Lincoln, Nebraska. Here, life changed overnight for the lanky, blond-haired young Charles.

So begins the legend of Lucky Lindy and the Spirit of St. Louis that has won the hearts of Minnesotans and Americans alike. Since his historic flight, he worked with the Air Force Reserve as brigadier general and even received a Pulitzer Prize for his autobiographical work “The Spirit of St. Louis.”

Impatiently waiting for the atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean to clear, it is hard to believe Charles A. Lindbergh knew the aftermath of his historic flight. His attempt to be the first to fly across the big pond and win the $25,000 prize offered not only the achievement but incidentally the renown and applause of the world.

Thanks to Brittany Bokovoy and the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series, “This Date In Central Minnesota History” on WJON.

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