Charles Lindbergh's historic 33 hour flight across the Atlantic - hen to Alaska

Bill Federer

MAY 20, 1927, at 7:52am, one of the greatest feats in aviation began as 25-year-old Charles A. Lindbergh left Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, in his silver monoplane named The Spirit of St. Louis.

Thirty-three and a half hours later he landed in Paris, completing the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Lindbergh was decorated by the President of France, the King of England and President Calvin Coolidge.

The son of a Congressman, Charles Lindbergh was a test pilot for a St. Louis firm, performed feats of barnstorming and became an Air Service Reserve cadet, flying mail routes to Chicago.

At the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, February 1, 1954, Charles Lindbergh stated:

"It was not the outer grandeur of the Roman but the inner simplicity of the Christian that lived through the ages."

On the Bicentennial of Air and Space Flight, February 7, 1983, President Ronald Reagan said:

"We Americans have always been at our best when we've faced challenge ...

Whether ... Daniel Boone or Charles Lindbergh ... I've always believed that mankind is capable of greatness ... But it depends on us.

God gave angels wings. He gave mankind dreams. And with His help, there's no limit to what can be accomplished."

President Jimmy Carter stated MAY 20, 1977:

"This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic transatlantic flight of Charles A. Lindbergh.

In his solo journey from New York to Paris on MAY 20, 1927, America's "Lone Eagle" inaugurated a new age of aviation ...

Celebrated around the world, this momentous event established Lindbergh as one of our country's most heroic figures.

It symbolized the continuing devotion of our people to the exploration of new frontiers and demonstrated what can be accomplished when innovative and promising technology is guided by a courageous and determined man.

Linking two continents, the 33 1/2-hour flight of the Spirit of St. Louis was a landmark in aviation history."

In 1957, CinemaScope produced the movie The Spirit of St. Louis, starring Jimmy Stewart as Charles Lindbergh.

Phyllis Schlafly wrote in the book, The Power of the Positive Woman (NY: Arlington House Publishers, 1978):

"Some positive women have nevertheless succeeded at this seemingly impossible task ...

Among those who come to mind is Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of one of America's 20th-century heroes, Charles Lindbergh, and mother of six children ...

During the 1930s, Anne Lindbergh earned a reputation as a flier and adventurer in her own right.

She later became an extremely successful author."

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in North to the Orient (1935):

"Good-by is a prayer, a ringing cry. 'You must not go - I cannot bear to have you go! But you shall not go alone, unwatched. God will be with you. God's hand will over you' and even - underneath, hidden, but it is there, incorrigible - 'I will be with you; I will watch you - always.' It is a mother's good-by."

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in Gift from the Sea (1955):

“Don't wish me happiness. I don't expect to be happy all the time ... It's gotton beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor.I will need them all.”

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”

“I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.”

"I want, in fact - to borrow from the language of the saints -to live 'in grace' as much of the time as possible."

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in War Within & Without: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1939-1944:

"One writes to capture and crystallize one's joy, but also to disperse one's gloom. Like prayer--you go to it in sorrow more than joy, for help, a road back to 'grace'.”

President Gerald Ford remarked at the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, July 4, 1975:

"We need to remind ourselves that America is really 'the land of the free and the home of the brave.' And we should be proud of it ...

The pioneer spirit ... The Wright brothers mastered powered flight at Kitty Hawk. The age of flight was born ...

From the first Atlantic crossing by the 'Lone Eagle,' Charles Lindbergh, to the American astronauts who announced that the Eagle had landed, when touchdown on the Moon, America's leadership was again established ...

The modern world places a premium on creativity and individuality ... Individualism is a safeguard against the sameness of society."

President Ford continued:

"A government too large and bureaucratic can stifle individual initiative by a frustrating statism.

In America ... Our sovereign is the citizen, and we must never forget it. Governments exist to serve people. The state is the creature of the populace ...

There is a quotation that I learned in my early days in Sunday school, that the beauty of Joseph's coat is its many colors. And that is the strength of America ...

We are not Americans alone by birth or blood, by oath or creed ...

We are Americans because we deliberately chose to be one nation, indivisible, and for 199 years, with God's help, we have gone forward together, and we will in the future ...

We have, on this Independence Day of 1975, a free government that checks and balances its own excesses and a free economic system that corrects its own errors ...

This is the amazing history Americans have written ... It still remains, in Lincoln's words, 'The last, best hope of earth.'"

In the summer of 1931, Charles and Anne Lindbergh flew from Long Island to Nome, Alaska, and from there to Siberia, Japan and China.

Alaska has a unique history of how it became part of the United States.

It was a result of the efforts of William Henry Seward, Secretary of State during the Civil War under Abraham Lincoln.

Like Lincoln, Seward was strongly anti-slavery, so much so that the same night Lincoln was shot, an accomplice of John Wilkes Booth broke into Seward's home and attempted to assassinate him.

William H. Seward had previously been Governor of the State of New York, 1839-43; and U.S. Senator 1849-61.

After the Civil war, Seward continued as Secretary of State under President Andrew Johnson, 1865-69, negotiating the purchase of Alaska from Russia.

This would not have happened had it not been for the Crimean War near the Black Sea.

Britain and France fought alongside of the Muslim Ottoman Empire against Russia.

After a half-million deaths, the Russian army was defeated in 1856.

A woman who cared for wounded soldiers was Florence Nightingale -- the pioneer of the modern nursing profession.

Known as "The Lady with the Lamp," she made her rounds at night to check on injured soldiers.

During the Crimean War, a mistaken command sent the British cavalry riding to their deaths directly into Russian cannons.

A memorial poem was written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, titled "The Charge of the Light Brigade":

"Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!

'Charge for the guns!' he said:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'

Was there a man dismay'd?

Not tho' the soldier knew

Someone had blunder'd:

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred ..."

Russia feared Britain would expand its territory of British Columbia in Canada by claiming Russian Alaska.

To preempt this, on March 30, 1867, Russia quickly sold 586,412 square miles to the United States for $7.2 million -- about two cents per acre. It was the second largest land purchase in history.

The largest being the Louisiana Purchase of 828,000 square miles in 1803.

The third largest was the Mexican Cession of 520,000 square miles in 1848.

Alaska was initially thought to be of no value, referred to as Seward's Folly.

Later, when Alaska was found to be rich in natural resources, appreciation was shown to Seward.

William H, Seward stated in his oration, "The Destiny of America" (Columbus, Ohio, September 14, 1853):

"Shall we look to the sacred desk? Yes, indeed; for it is of Divine institution, and is approved by human experience.

The ministers of Christ, inculcating Divine morals, under Divine authority, with Divine sanction, and sustained and aided by special cooperating influences of the Divine Spirit, are now carrying further and broadly onward the great work of the renewal of the civilization of the world, and its emancipation from superstition and despotism."

As vice-president of the American Bible Society, William Henry Seward stated in 1836:

"I know not how long a republican government can flourish among a great people who have not the Bible; the experiment has never been tried; but this I do know: that the existing government of this country never could have had existence but for the Bible.

And, further, I do, in my conscience, believe that if at every decade of years a copy of the Bible could be found in every family in the land its republican institutions would be perpetuated."

Seward stated:

"I do not believe human society ... ever have attained, or ever can attain, a high state of intelligence, virtue, security, liberty, or happiness without the Holy Scriptures; even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever-growing influence of the Bible."