Charles Lindbergh

Charles A. Lindbergh is remembered as the first person to make a nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic, in 1927.  This feat, when Lindbergh was only twenty-five years old, assured him a lifetime of fame and public attention.

Charles Augustus Lindbergh was more interested in flying airplanes than he was in studying.  He dropped out of the University of Wisconsin after two years to earn a living performing daredevil airplane stunts at country fairs.  Two years later, he joined the United States Army so that he could go to the Army Air Service flight-training school. After completing his training, he was hired to fly mail between St. Louis and Chicago.
Then came the historic flight across the Atlantic.  In 1919, a New York City hotel owner offered a prize of $25,000 to the first pilot to fly nonstop from New York to Paris.  Nine St. Louis business leaders helped pay for the plane Lindbergh designed especially for the flight.  Lindbergh tested the plane by flying it from San Diego to New York, with an overnight stop in St. Louis.  The flight took only 20 hours and 21 minutes, a transcontinental record.

Nine days later, on May 20,1927, Lindbergh took off from Long Island, New York, at 7:52 A. M.  He landed at Paris on May 21 at 10:21 P. M. He had flown more than 3,600 miles in less than thirty four hours.  His flight made news around the world.  He was given awards and parades everywhere he went.  He was presented with the U. S. Congressional Medal of Honor and the first Distinguished Flying Cross.  For a long time, Lindbergh toured the world as a U. S. goodwill ambassador.  He met his future wife, Anne Morrow, in Mexico, where her father was the United States ambassador.

During the 1930s, Charles and Anne Lindbergh worked for various airline companies, charting new commercial air routes.  In 1931, for a major airline, they charted a new route from the east coast of the United States to the Orient.  The shortest, most efficient route was a great curve across Canada, over Alaska, and down to China and Japan.  Most pilots familiar with the Arctic did not believe that such a route was possible.  The Lindberghs took on the task of proving that it was.  They arranged for fuel and supplies to be set out along the route.  On July 29, they took off from Long Island in a specially equipped small seaplane.  They flew by day and each night landed on a lake or a river and camped.  Near Nome, Alaska, they had their first serious emergency.  Out of daylight and nearly out of fuel, they were forced down in a small ocean inlet.  In the next morning’s light, they discovered they had landed on barely three feet of water.  On September 19, after two more emergency landings and numerous close calls, they landed in China with the maps for a safe airline passenger route.

Even while actively engaged as a pioneering flier, Lindbergh was also working as an engineer.  In 1935, he and Dr. Alexis Carrel were given a patent for an artificial heart. During World War I in the 1940s, Lindbergh served as a civilian technical advisor in aviation.  Although he was a civilian, he flew over fifty combat missions in the Pacific. In the 1950s, Lindbergh helped design the famous 747 jet airliner.  In the late 1960s, he spoke widely on conservation issues.  He died August 1974, having lived through aviation history from the time of the first powered flight to the first steps on the moon and having influenced a big part of that history himself.

What did Lindbergh do before he crossed the Atlantic?



He charted a route to China.

He graduated from flight-training school.

He married Anne Morrow.

He acted as a technical advisor during World War II.

He was responsible for the fuel supply for planes.

What happened immediately after Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic?





He flew the mail between St. Louis and Chicago.


He left college.


He attended the Army flight-training school.


He was given the Congressional Medal of Honor.


He married Anne Morrow.


When did the Lindberghs map an air route to China?





before they worked for an airline


before Charles worked with Dr. Carrel


after World War II


while designing the 747


when he was thirty


What event happened last?





Lindbergh patented an artificial heart.


The Lindberghs mapped a route to the Orient.


Lindbergh helped design the 747 airline.


Lindbergh flew fifty combat missions.


Charles finally was given an honorary degree from college.