Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.

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Winning Nomination

His 1927 pioneering nonstop flight from New York to Paris caught the imagination of the whole world, fueling the rapid advance of aviation here in Minnesota and worldwide.
~Rosemary Diedrich, Garfield, MN



Runner-up Nominations

He exemplified the Minnesotan spirit of perseverance and accomplishment when he completed his transatlantic flight!
~Harry Burleson, Excelsior, MN

Without a doubt, Charles Lindbergh changed the world with his aviation feat connecting the two continents of North America and Europe in 33 hours. We all take airplane travel for granted these days, but read the book on Lindbergh by A. Scott Berg and you will agree with me that his life and accomplishments not only in mapping out routes and airports, but in the area of conservation around the world deserves the credit of most influential American as well as Minnesotan.
~Michelle Beltrand, Plymouth, MN

The determination and willingness to work hard and set and pursue a goal. This represents the Minnesota work ethic.
~Karrie Thies, St. Paul, MN

Charles Lindbergh, who was the son of a Minnesota lawmaker, set a goal for himself that he wanted to achieve: to be the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone in an airplane. In order to do so, he faced a lot of challenges that he successfully overcame to become the first American - and first person - to fly across the Atlantic and live to tell about his achievement.

Charles Lindbergh not only expanded our horizons with flight, but he was an example of several characteristics that most Minnesotans possess and use for their benefit and for those around them: a strong work ethic, overcome challenges in the best way you are able, and do your best to leave your world better than when you got there.
~Jeff Guckeen, Minneapolis

Lindbergh transformed aviation and opened the world to long-distance transport.
~Warren Sagstuen, Minneapolis, MN

On May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh, Jr. was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. He was only 25 years old! It was a history-making trip that opened up the whole world for all of us. Suddenly the world became a much smaller place. Once a barrier is broken--in this case crossing the Atlantic Ocean non-stop in a plane--there is a natural progression for others to follow the same path. No longer would people have to spend weeks crossing the ocean in a boat!

Charles Lindbergh Jr. also helped Dr. Alexis Carrel develop a kind of artificial heart. Lindbergh won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Spirit of St. Louis.

In the 1960s, he became a strong spokesman for conservation. In his later life he said, If I were entering adulthood now instead of in the environment of 50 years ago, I would choose a career that kept me in contact with nature more than science.

If there were nominations for the 150 most influential people in United States, I'm sure Charles Lindbergh Jr. would qualify. Please include him in MN150.

Charles grew up in Little Falls, Minnesota, and graduated from Little Falls High School in 1918.
~Carol Hoheisel, Pierz, MN

Our state hero.
~Helen Grooms, St. Paul, MN

1st person to fly the Atlantic. National hero, national icon and treasure. Put Minnesota and the U.S. on the world scene in 1927.
~William Ralph, Duluth, MN

Famous flight brought world attention to MN.
~Vickie Gangness, Minneapolis, MN

Nothing is impossible. With his feat he brought the world together.
~ Richard F. Holy, Brooklyn Park, MN

Charles Lindbergh was born in Little Falls, MN. He made the first solo transatlantic flight when aviation was in its infancy. His heroic and sensational effort captured the hearts and esprit de corps of people across America and the world. It changed the history of aviation forever and lifted people up at a time when they needed a true hero during the Great Depression.
~Martha Wade, Bloomington, MN

Made MN. specifically Little Falls, famous as his boyhood home, where he dreamed of flying.
~Kim Mielke, Little Falls, MN

America's first twentieth-century hero!
~Kyleigh Hall, Maple Grove, MN


Contents

History

(1902-1974)

A new law resulting from an unthinkable crime

He was the twentieth century's first international celebrity--a tall, photogenic, articulate young aviator who soared into the spotlight in 1927 when, at age twenty-five, he completed the first solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by air. He was Minnesota's own Charles Lindbergh--soon known around the world as "Lucky Lindy"--and his historic flight from New York to Paris on the Spirit of St. Louis brought him wealth, admiration, and a life in the public eye to which he never became fully accustomed.

His solo flight may have made his a household name, but it was a later event in Lindbergh's life that was to have an even greater impact on the nation's history. On a cold, rainy night in March 1932, Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh's twenty-month-old son, also named Charles, was kidnapped from their New Jersey home. Sadly, after weeks of well-publicized searches, the boy's body was found near the family's estate. The search was on for his murderer.

After almost two years, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was brought to trial for the crime. Lindbergh's celebrity made the trial front-page news, fodder for sensational, invasive reporting from coast to coast. It was, in the words of journalist H. L. Mencken, "the greatest story since the Resurrection." Hauptmann was convicted and executed in 1936, and the Lindbergh family, exhausted by the ordeal and angry with the media, left the United States in 1935 to live in England.

Beyond its lasting impact on Charles Lindbergh and his family, the effects of the trial were felt throughout the legal world. In 1937, the American Bar Association inserted a prohibition on courtroom photography into its Canons of Professional and Judicial Ethics. All but two states adopted the ban, and Congress amended the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to ban cameras and broadcasting from federal courts. Even more significantly, the kidnapping resulted in the 1932 passage of the Federal Kidnapping Act, popularly called the Lindbergh Law, which made it a federal offense to kidnap someone with the intent to seek a ransom or reward.

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