Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Letter From Aviation History - March 2013

Originally published by Aviation History magazine. Published Online: January 15, 2013 
Print Friendly
1 comment FONT +  FONT -

Lindbergh Legacy

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more complex individual than Charles Lindbergh. When he burst onto the international stage with his May 1927 solo transatlantic flight, the fresh-faced "Lindy" became the world's first media superstar, honored and feted wherever he traveled. Less than five years later, he and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh endured the dark side of that media celebrity after the kidnapping and murder of their 20-month-old son, Charles Jr. The publicity surrounding the so-called "Crime of the Century" eventually drove the Lindberghs into self-imposed exile in Europe, where the celebrated aviator visited Germany several times at the behest of the U.S. military. There he examined German aviation facilities and even got a chance to pilot a Messerschmitt Bf-109, commenting that he knew of "no other pursuit plane which combines simplicity of construction with such excellent performance characteristics."

As Dick Hallion recounts in "The Lone Eagle's War" (P. 22), during a 1938 dinner at the U.S. embassy in Berlin, Luftwaffe leader Hermann Göring presented Lindbergh with a Nazi medal for his contributions to world aviation. His acceptance of the award, and subsequent involvement with the antiwar America First movement, led to allegations that he was pro-Nazi. Lindbergh's pro-isolationist speeches and writings, perceived by some as anti-Semitic, didn't help matters. All of this resulted in a very public spat between the airman and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in an April 1941 speech accused Lindbergh of being a "defeatist and appeaser." Three days later Lindbergh resigned his Air Corps commission, but as Hallion writes, he would find a way to get into the war.

That's the Lindbergh with whom most of us are familiar—the strong-willed, controversial, enigmatic "Lone Eagle"—but there were many lesser-known sides to the multifaceted man. How many know, for instance, that he was an early supporter of rocketry pioneer Robert Goddard, who with Lindy's help secured a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation in 1930 to continue his experiments? Or that, in concert with Nobel Prize–winning surgeon Dr. Alexis Carrel, he invented a glass perfusion pump that led to the development of the first heart-lung machine? Or that Lindbergh won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for his book The Spirit of St. Louis (review, P. 63)? Or that in the 1960s he became a dedicated environmentalist, campaigning for the protection of endangered species and indigenous peoples?

This last chapter of his life led to the establishment in 1977 of the nonprofit Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, dedicated to maintaining balance between technological innovation and conservation of the natural world. The foundation awards grants (up to $10,580, the cost of building Spirit of St. Louis in 1927) for research or educational projects devoted to that cause. It also sponsors the Aviation Green Alliance, whose goal is to reduce aviation's environmental footprint, and annually presents the honorary Lindbergh Award to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the foundation's mission. Past recipients have included aviation legends Jimmy Doolittle, Neil Armstrong and Burt Rutan. For more information on the foundation's many programs, visit lindberghfoundation.org.


One Response to “Letter From Aviation History - March 2013”


  1. 1

    [...] Letter From Aviation History – March 2013 (historynet.com) Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailStumbleUponDiggPinterestLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Wacky Holidays and tagged Charles Lindbergh, Spirit of St. Louis.Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment [...]



Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by the Weider History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History Group

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2013 Weider History Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy