Charles Lindbergh 1902-1974
Published on November 30, 2012
May 21,1927, 22:21 - Lindbergh Conquers the Atlantic. The United States and France made history when Charles Lindbergh landed the Spirit of Saint Louis at the Bourget airfield near Paris after a flight of thirty-three hours and thirty minutes. "I’m turning and slightly reducing the fuel ; I’m slowly beginning the descent … I’m now circling. Yes, I see an airport below. I can make out a section of a concrete runway in front of a half-opened hangar door… I’m 400 meters above the runway. I’m now reducing the fuel and turning to make my final approach." Charles Lindbergh, who after this achievement, would be affectionately known to Americans as "Lucky Lindy", smoothly landed on French soil. He had just completed the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris. The flight covered a distance of 3,600 miles in 33 hours and 30 minutes: an average of 116 miles per hour. The crowds that rushed to Bourget airfield from Paris, enthusiastically greeted the young American, who had just conquered the Atlantic. The 25 year-old pilot from Detroit, Michigan was welcomed by Mr. Myron T. Herrick, the American Ambassador to France. Young Lindy had won the hearts and fired the imaginations of the Parisians. When he was received at the Hotel de Ville, Paris’ City Hall, nearly half a million people gathered to cheer as he rode by. Marshals Foch and Joffre praised his courage, and President Gaston Doumergue awarded him France’s highest honor: the Légion d’Honneur. General Gouraud declared, "Not only have you united two continents, but also the hearts of people everywhere, in admiration for the simple courage of a man who accomplished a great thing."