Sunday, May 20, 2012

On the Anniversary of Lucky Lindy's Trans-Atlantic Flight

Photos from Charles A. Lindbergh.  The Spirit of St. Louis.  NY:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953

On the book jacket it says, "it seems to me that a man who has worked in close relation with the terrific pressures generated by our technology has something special to say to this age."

End papers reproduced from an original aquatint by Burnell Poole, an American artist, one of whose paintings has recently been restored.
Source:  The New Wonder Book of Knowledge.  Chicago:  The John C. Winston Co., 1936

At least one British historian was unimpressed:

"The personality cult amongst flyers rose suddenly and brilliantly to its glittering climax on May 20th, 1927, when a handsome, humourless American youth called Charles Lindbergh flew solo from Long Island to Paris in a monoplane.  Lindbergh's flight and achievement were extraordinary, through scarcely less extraordinary than the behaviour of his country in its greed for a hero.  When he returned he was met with a kind of hyperbole with which the Romans kept their emperors sweet.  Some people weren't at all certain he hadn't been deified and there were later indications to show that Lindbergh wasn't absolutely sure on the point himself.  Chilly as dead mutton though he was, he loped neatly into the niche made for the All-American Boy and shared with Valentino's ghost and Babe Ruth the patriotic ululation of his native land.  It is doubtful if any man in history was every rewarded as Lindbergh was rewarded for a career which lasted precisely thirty-three hours and twenty-nine minutes."

-Ronald Blythe.  The Age of Illusion.  England in the Twenties and Thirties.  London:  Hamish Hamilton, 1963.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Perhaps the British historian was miffed because it wasn't a British flyer.
At the end of James Stewart's movie about Lindbergh, he says there were 200,000 people that night at Le Bourget Field, and 4,000,000 at the parade in New York. I guess it was an event to celebrate.