Charles A. Lindbergh

The Transatlantic Flight

In 1919, a prize of $25,000 was offered by New York City hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first pilot to fly from New York to Paris nonstop ( Backed by some St. Louis businessmen, Lindbergh helped to design the plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, which was manufactured by Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego ( 

A 1927 newsreel
Lindbergh lands in Paris
Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis
On May 20, 1927, Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York (“Charles Lindbergh Biography”). He carried only a few essentials, some sandwiches, water, charts and map and “a limited number of other items he deemed absolutely necessary”(“Charles A. Lindbergh – Biography”). He even decides not to take a parachute or radio, wanting to carry as much fuel as possible (“Charles A. Lindbergh – Biography”). In his book The Spirit of St. Louis, Lindbergh described the take off in what was less than desirable weather, “The Spirit of St. Louis feels more like an overloaded truck than an airplane. The tires rut through mud as though they really were on truck wheels. Even the breath of wind is pressing me down” (C. Lindbergh 185). In spite of the weather, at 7:52 a.m., the Spirit of St. Louis departed, bound for Paris, France (“Charles A. Lindbergh – Biography”). 

Over 33 hours later, Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget Field (“Charles A. Lindbergh – Biography”).  A crowd of 100,000 met him as he touched down at 10:22 p.m. after flying over 3,500 miles ( Upon his return to the United States, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (

For a more detailed timeline of this historic flight, click here.