Friday, May 21, 2010
On this day in 1927 Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris, where he was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd. He'd been alone in his plane for two days and hadn't slept in 55 hours. He survived on four sandwiches, two canteens of water and 451 gallons of gasoline. He might have landed anywhere from Portugal to Norway; the $25,000 prize was for crossing the Atlantic and didn't specify a destination. Still a crowd of 100,000 was at Le Bourget to greet him when his plane emerged from low clouds. They lifted him out of the plane like a newborn baby. He became an instant world celebrity, a role he never came to grips with. Fame led to the kidnapping and murder of his young son in 1932. World leaders courted him. In the thirties he became a friend and political ally of the Nazis. Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering pinned a medal on him in 1936. Charles Lindbergh appears seven times in A BOOK OF AGES.