Published: May 21, 2014
While Orville and Wilbur Wright may have invented the airplane, this week marks the 87th anniversary of another pioneer in aviation, Charles Lindbergh. His successful trans-Atlantic flight may have only lasted 33 hours, 30 minutes and 29.8 seconds, but it paved the way for how we travel today. Also, he was only 25 when he made the journey! Here is a little information on his historic flight:
On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh began the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris and the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, taking off from Roosevelt Field in New York in his plane The Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh left New York that evening, heading toward Nova Scotia to minimize his time over water. His plane landed safely in Paris thirty-three and a half hours later. A crowd of more than 100,000 people gathered to greet him.
Most people at that time could have told you exactly where they were when they heard the news that Lindberg’s plane made it to Paris. People had waited nervously by their radios, listening for news of the flight. Air travel was still relatively new and Lindberg's flight captured people's imagination.
Overwhelmed by the reception, Lindbergh sought refuge in the residence of the American ambassador to France. He had originally planned to spend a few quiet days sightseeing in Europe after his flight, but this was not meant to be as he had become one of the most famous people in the world overnight. This fame lasted for many years after the flight.
When President Coolidge heard the news of Lindbergh's successful flight, he asked him to return to America to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. The navy dispatched a destroyer to France to pick him up and transport him back across the Atlantic. He returned to a reception unprecedented in America’s history with New York City honoring him with the largest ticker tape parade ever held.