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Charles Lindbergh and the
"Spirit of St. Louis" just
before takeoff May 27, 1927
Charles Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris took 33 1/2 hours. The impact of his accomplishment was immediate and immense. When he landed at Le Bourge airport a crowd estimated at over 100,000 thronged the young pilot and his plane. Overwhelmed by the reception, Lindbergh sought refuge in the residence of the American ambassador to France. His thought was to rest a few days and then do some sightseeing through Europe. However, forces beyond his control were soon to overtake Lindbergh. His feat propelled him instantly to the status of a cultural icon and his life would never be the same.

When he heard the news of Lindbergh's successful flight, President Coolidge asked that he be returned to America to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. The navy dispatched a destroyer to France to pick up Lindbergh and transport him back across the Atlantic. Initially, Lindbergh was reluctant to return so quickly but soon realized he had little choice but to follow the President's plan. So, Lindbergh returned to America and a reception unprecedented in our history. New York City honored him with the largest ticker tape parade ever. Then, it was on to Washington and more awards and ceremonies. This recording is an excerpt of a speech Lindbergh gave upon his arrival in New York.

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