Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born February 4, 1902, in Detroit,. He attended the University of Wisconsin for two years but left to attend a flying school in Lincoln, Nebraska. He began flying in 1922, and four years later he flew a mail plane between St. Louis, Missouri, and Chicago. He decided to compete for a prize of $25,000 offered in 1919 by Raymond B. Orteig of New York City for the first nonstop transatlantic solo flight between New York City and Paris. In his single-engine airplane, Spirit of St. Louis, Lindbergh left Roosevelt Field at 7:52 AM on May 20, 1927. After a flight of 33 hours 32 minutes, he landed at Le Bourget Airport near Paris. He was popular all over the world and was greeted as a hero in Europe and the U.S. He later became a colonel in the U.S. Air Service Reserve and was a technical adviser to commercial airlines.
He made "goodwill tours" of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies.
A federal law which became known as Lindbergh Act, which was enforced in 1932 after the kidnapping of Lindbergh's child, makes it a federal crime, punishable by life imprisonment, to kidnap a person and transport that person to another state. This law was amended in 1934 making it a crime to commit a kidnapping. In 1968 the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated that section of the Lindbergh Act that gave the jury the power to recommend the death penalty for kidnapping.
In 1932 the kidnapping and murder of Lindbergh's first child, 19-month-old Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., attracted nationwide attention. The baby was kidnapped anywhere from 7:30 to 10pm out of his nursery in the Lindbergh's home. A ransom note was found on the window sill. A search ended very sadly when the child was...