Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Lone Eagle

Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Lone Eagle

Article excerpt

On July 3 the VHS opens a spectacular major exhibition with a one-word tide that still conveys the excitement that the name commanded when it burst on the international scene three-quarters of a century ago: Lindbergh. Organized by the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis, the exhibition features hundreds of artifacts, photographs, telegrams, and medals that document the achievements of Charles A. Lindbergh, America's hero of the interwar years.

An obscure pilot flying airmail between St. Louis and Chicago, Lindbergh catapulted himself to world celebrity with his daring feat in May 1927-the first solo transatlantic flight, which both electrified the world and shrank it in the same instant. Lindbergh named his custom-built monoplane the Spirit of St. Louis in honor of the hometown of his financial backers. In competing for the $25,000 Orteig Prize to be the first to fly nonstop between New York and Paris, Lindbergh was an unlikely candidate. Many more established pilots had failed. But after lifting off on the morning of May 20, 1927, from Roosevelt Field on Long Island and flying 3,600 miles in thirty-three-and-a-half hours, the Minnesota native touched down after dark the next evening at Le Bourget Field, where 150,000 Parisians turned out to cheer his arrival. …

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