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Charles Lindberg

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One of the greatest heroes the world has ever known was Charles Lindbergh. He is most famous for his transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. Lindbergh acquired great fame for doing "good will" tours in Latin America. Other than politicians and war heroes no one has quite yet matched his fame. He was a genus when it came to aviation and mechanics. He advised the making and design of several planes from ones made of wood and wire to supersonic jets. He helped several countries and airlines by giving them advise on their air fleets. He wrote several documents of his journeys and of his life.

Charles Augustus Lindbergh entered this world on February 4, 1902 in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in Rapid Falls, Minnesota on a family farm. His father's name was Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Sr. He was a lawyer and a congressman for the state of Minnesota between the years of 1907 and 1917. His mother's name was Evangeline Land Lodge. As a child Lindbergh showed that he had a great deal of mechanical ability. When he was eighteen years old, he began attending the University of Wisconsin. While at Wisconsin, he majored in mechanical engineering. During his time at the university, he paid more attention to the growing field of aviation than he did to his studies. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1924, so he could begin studying on how to be a fighter pilot. One year later, he graduated form the Army flight training school that was held on both Brook's field and Kelly's field. He graduated at the top of his class. After he left the Army, he bought his own plane and for the next six years he flew for the Robertson Aircraft Corporation. The planes he flew were filled with mail and traveled from St. Louis, MO to Chicago, IL. During this time, he was also a barnstormer, a stunt pilot that does stunts over fairs and other public gatherings. During this time in his career, he earned the reputations of not only a cautious pilot but a very capable pilot as well.

A New York City hotel owner named Raymond Orteig started the Orteig Prize. The prize was twenty five thousand dollars for the first man to fly across the Atlantic Ocean sol and without stopping in between. Many pilots were injured or even killed trying to win the Orteig Prize. Ortieg started this contest in 1919, but Lindbergh didn't take interest in it until 1926. In 1927, Lindbergh found nine St. Louis businessmen to sponsor him and help promote the flight. The Ryan Aircraft Company in San Diego, CA built the plane, which was called "the Spirit of St. Louis". Lindbergh gave the plane a test flight from San Diego to New York and he made only one stop in St. Louis. That flight took twenty hours and twenty-one minutes, setting a new transcontinental record. He started his transatlantic flight on May 20 from Roosevelt Field on Long Island at 7:52 AM and landed at Le Bourget Airport in Paris at 2:22 PM. When he returned to the U.S., there were reporters waiting to greet him. The press began to give him nicknames such as "Lucky Lindy" and "the Lone Eagle". The world instantly made him a hero and an international celebrity. The President, Calvin Coolidge, presented him with the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1927, he published a book called "We", referring to himself, "the Spirit of St. Louis", and the thirty-three and half hour flight.

While traveling in support of goodwill in 1929, he met his wife. Her name was Anne Spencer Morrow. She was the daughter of Dwight Morrow, a US ambassador to Mexico. After their marriage, he taught her how to fly a plane and they began flying expeditions all around the world. His wife was noted for her excellent poetry and other writings. On June 22, 1930, they had their first child and they named him Charles Augustus



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