American aviator Charles Lindbergh was born Feb. 4, 1902.
Monday marks the 117th anniversary of his birth. Best known for the “Spirit of St. Louis” flight, Lindbergh is perhaps the most famous pilot in American history.
In the aforementioned single-engine plane, Lindbergh piloted the first nonstop, transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. (RELATED: Air Traffic Controller Shortage Causes Temporary Halt For Flights Into LaGuardia Airport)
Lindbergh was also a man who faced great tragedy in his life. His infant son, Charles Lindbergh Jr., was the victim of what is widely considered “The Crime of The Century.” Lindbergh Jr. was kidnapped and murdered when he was 20 months old. The crime led Congress to pass the “Federal Kidnapping Act,” otherwise known as” Lindbergh law,” which allowed kidnappers to be pursued across state lines.
Lindbergh is also widely known for his strong opposition to American involvement in World War II throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s. Lindbergh’s staunch non-interventionist stance manifested itself into Nazi and fascist apologia. For that, he was rebuked by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his legacy remains largely mixed.
Lindbergh was a legend in his field, and a polarizing historical figure. However people decide to remember him, not many Americans have ever had the impact of Lindbergh.