Yesterday’s ASAD article covered the period starting with Charles Lindbergh’s return to the United States on June 11, 1927, following his non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic from New York to Paris three weeks before. A chronological accounting of first month of the Guggenheim Goodwill Mission, from July 20 through his arrival at Madison, Wisconsin, on August 22, also formed the bulk of that entry. Today’s article will conclude that trip around the United States and see the Spirit of St. Louis venture south of the border.
August 23, 1927 — Madison, WI. to Minneapolis, MN.
On August 23, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis from Madison, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, via Portage and La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Winona and Red Wing, Minnesota. The entire flight time was four hours. A crowd of 20,000 broke through the lines and surged onto the field as Lindbergh landed at Wold-Chamberlain Airport in Minneapolis just after 2 p.m. The Spirit taxied directly to the airmail hanger rather than the planned 109th Air Squadron hanger. The general confusion delayed the start of the scheduled parade but at last Lindbergh took his place in a parade car with Minneapolis Mayor George E. Leach and St. Paul Mayor Lawrence C. Hodgson. Lindbergh’s mother, Evangeline, having made the trip from her home in Detroit, rode in the next car with the mayors’ wives.
Huge crowds lined the parade route and were estimated by various newspapers as between 250,000 and 500,000 people strong. At 3:30 p.m., Lindbergh addressed a large audience at the St. Paul airport. That evening, Minnesota Governor Theodore Christianson presented Lindbergh with a commemorative medal from the state during a gala banquet at the Saint Paul Hotel. During the tour, two days out of every seven were set aside for Lindbergh to rest and August 24 was one of those days.
August 25, 1927 — Minneapolis, MN. to Little Falls, MN.
After two days of dealing with huge throngs of spectators during his stay in Minneapolis, Minnesota’s favorite son flew to his boyhood home of Little Falls on a two-hour and 20-minute flight via the towns of Savage, Shakopee, St. Cloud, Melrose, and Sauk Center. In planning the reception while Lindbergh was still on board the USS Memphis in the Atlantic, it was decided to ask U.S. President Coolidge to stop in Little Falls on the way to his summer home in the Black Hills of South Dakota in order to confer the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor on Lindbergh. While this did not come to pass, it is indicative of the kind of homecoming celebration the tiny town had planned.
As he did throughout the Guggenheim Goodwill Tour, Lindbergh circled various towns and cities while en route to his final destination of the day. While doing so, he dropped the following printed message:
Aboard “Spirit of St. Louis”
Because of the limited time and the extensive itinerary of the tour of the United States now in progress to encourage popular interest in aeronautics, it is impossible for the Spirit of St. Louis to land in your city.
This message from the air, however, is sent you to express our sincere appreciation of your interest in the tour and in the promotion and extension of commercial aeronautics in the United States.
We feel that we will be amply repaid for all our efforts if each and every citizen of the United States cherishes an interest in flying and gives his earnest support to the air mail service and the establishment of airports and similar facilities. The concerted efforts of the citizens of the United States in this direction will result in America taking its rightful place, within a very short time, as the world leader in commercial flying.
(Signed) CHARLES A. LINDBERGH
HARRY F. GUGGENHEIM, president
The Daniel Guggenheim fund for
the promotion of aeronautics
WILLIAM P. MacCRACKEN, JR.,
Assistant Secretary of Aeronautics,
Department of Commerce.
During the last of several passes of each community, Lindbergh would release a canvas bag with a bright orange streamer. As the bag hit the ground, “35 to 40 pairs of scrambled hands and feet [sought] the message in a dog-pile on the walk.” The spirit reaction continued throughout the tour, for it was known that each greeting was autographed by Lindbergh.
Charles Lindbergh’s mother flew in one of the escort planes that day on the flight to Little Falls. She was already a veteran of flights in her son’s barnstorming days flying aboard his Jenny biplane and flown once in the Spirit of St. Louis during the Detroit stop on the tour. Lindbergh detoured a bit during his fly-overs as he found the flights more relaxing than his “rest” days in the schedule. The request for a fly-over at Savage, Minnesota, was probably honored because the village had befriended Lindbergh in 1923 after he made a forced landing in a nearby swamp. Except for a cracked propeller, there had been little damage to his airplane but the accident did delay his plans to fly his father between towns in the latter’s primary campaign for the U.S. Senate. According to an account by Savage’s mayor, Charles F. McCarthy, Lindbergh “swooped down on our town at 12:15, circling the village three or four times, coming down to scarcely more than one hundred feet.”
Shortly after 1 p.m., the Spirit of St. Louis circled St. Cloud. After dropping his printed promotions for commercial aviation over St. Germain Street, Lindbergh flew west to Melrose where his grandfather, August Lindbergh, had settled in 1859 upon his arrival from Sweden. The Melrose Beacon reported that the silver monoplane circled the area about 1:20 p.m., “hovering over the land homesteaded by his grandfather… at the west limits of the city.” The newspaper also revealed that the canvas bag containing the tour message had snagged on the tail of the plane and did not drop to earth. Consequently, Melrose had to wait to get the message from Fargo, North Dakota, from where Lindbergh sent them by registered mail. The plane was on schedule at 1:30 p.m. when it flew over Sauk Center and dropped its greetings before heading to Little Falls
In planning the homecoming celebrations, Little Falls left no stone unturned. The old family car, a Saxon once driven by Lindbergh, was rescued from rusting junk status and displayed as a prized possession. A 60-acre field on the Jacob Brutcher farm north of town was selected as a suitable landing field for the event. Lindbergh cards were printed and the way cleared to reroute Highway 371 traffic to allow for the parade. Two Little Falls youths, John Wetzel and Frank Larson, were chosen in an “All-American Boy” contest to serve as honor guards for Lindbergh in the Twin Cities and Little Falls.
The Spirit of St. Louis landed on schedule at 2 p.m. Lindbergh believed that punctuality would help to build public confidence in air travel. The three-point landing in the pasture prompted a lieutenant in the 109th National Guard Air Squadron to remark that the flier “knew his stuff.” After exchanging greetings with officials at the landing field, Lindbergh was ushered to a car for the festive parade through the city. This included bands and drum corps from several Minnesota communities, floats (one of which featured the old Saxon car), an old tractor Lindbergh used on the home farm, replicas of the Spirit of St. Louis, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, and a marching delegation of 500 children. It was estimated that 50,000 people braved the late August heat to watch the parade.
The parade ended at the fairgrounds south of the city. When Lindbergh took the podium following a number of speeches, he stated simply that “I have looked forward for a long time to coming back to Little Falls and I regret that I can stay but one day now that I am here.” He also outlined a brief history of aviation in the United States and emphasized that in twenty-five years, development of aeronautics had been more rapid than advances in any other form of transportation, citing construction materials, design, and weight as problem areas that have been successfully overcome. Finally, Lindbergh predicted “the day is coming when airlines will be more extensive than our present day railroad lines” and that “we may expect to see regular passenger service to Europe — when flying boats will render a regular service.”
The remainder of his visit to Little Falls included evening festivities at the Elks Hotel and a number of musical presentations.
August 26, 1927 — Little Falls, MN. to Fargo, N.D.
On the morning of August 26, Charles Lindbergh visited the family home in Little Falls and the pleasantly wooded acres along the Mississippi River where he had spent many boyhood hours. Always aware of the tour schedule, Lindbergh reluctantly took off in the Spirit of St. Louis at 11:30 a.m. and headed over the west-central portion of the state to Fargo, North Dakota, via Lake Itasca, Minnesota. He landed at Hector Field about 2 p.m. and was greeted by Fargo Mayor J.H. Dahl and a throng of onlookers.
A motorcade parade took Lindbergh to El Zagal Park where he was again greeted and gave a speech broadcast by WDAY radio. The pilot was taken next to the home of Dr. Elizabeth Rindlaub where a reception was given by members of the Quota Club to enable wives of the officers of the Aeronautic Club and other invited women to meet Lindbergh. He then was taken to a 6:30 p.m. banquet at the Masonic Temple and more speeches. A “Lindbergh Day” dance was held at the Winter Garden under the auspices of the American Legion. A likely tired Lindbergh stayed overnight at the Gardner Hotel. His appearance in Fargo helped push air travel to the forefront of local consciousness. Two weeks after Lindbergh’s trip to Fargo, the City Commission appropriated the first funds for improvements at Hector Field.
August 27, 1927 — Fargo, N.D. to Sioux Falls, S.D. to Sioux City, IA.
Lindbergh left Fargo at 7:40 a.m. Saturday morning in the Spirit of St. Louis headed for Sioux Falls, South Dakota, via Aberdeen, Redfirld, Huron, and Mitchell, South Dakota, which took him four hours and 30 minutes. He landed at noon, a half-hour after the escorting Department of Commerce plane, and after some brief remarks was back in the air at 1 p.m. for the one-hour and 15-minute flight to Sioux City, Iowa.
August 29, 1927 — Sioux City, IA. to Des Moines, IA.
After a day off in Sioux City, Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis from there to Des Moines, via Battle Creek, Iowa, which took two hours and twenty minutes.
August 30, 1927 — Des Moines, IA. to Omaha, NE.
On August 30, Lindbergh flew two hours from Des Moines to Omaha, Nebraska, including a fly-over of Fort Des Moines.
August 31, 1927 — Omaha, NE. to Denver, CO.
Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis spent seven hours and 45 minutes in the air on August 31, flying from Omaha, Nebraska, to Denver, Colorado, via Columbus, Lincoln, Hastings, Kearney, Lexington, and McCook, all in Nebraska, and then fly-overs of Bird City, Kansas, and Imperial, Nebraska, before finally landing in Colorado.
September 1, 1927 — Denver, CO. to Pierre, S.D.
Six hours and 35 minutes were spent flying from Denver, Colorado, to Pierre, South Dakota, including fly-overs of Rocky Mountain National Park, Long’s Peak, and Creeley, in Colorado, and Scotts Bluff, Nebraska.
September 2, 1927 — Pierre, WY. to Cheyenne, WY.
On September 2, Lindy flew from Pierre to Cheyenne, Wyoming, via Philip and Hermosa, Wyoming before doing a fly-over of President Coolidge’s summer home, and then on to Rapid City, Spearfish, and Deadwood, South Dakota finally touching down in Cheyenne some five hours and 30 minutes after starting out.
September 3, 1927 — Cheyenne, WY. to Salt Lake City, UT.
A seven-hour and 35-minute flight was made on September 3 from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Salt Lake City, Utah, via Laramie, Parco, and Rawlins, Wyoming; Craig, Colorado; and Mt. Pleasant, Utah. At one point during this journey, Lindbergh took the Spirit of St. Louis up to 19,800 feet indicated altitude.
September 4, 1927 — Salt Lake City, UT. to Boise, ID.
The Spirit flew on September 6 from Salt Lake City to Boise, Idaho, via Bingham, and Ogden, Utah, and Oakley and Twin Falls, Idaho, taking four hours and 30 minutes to do so.
September 5, 1927 — Boise, ID. to Butte, MT.
A direct three-hour and 35-minute flight was made by “We” (the increasingly-popular nickname for Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis and soon to be the title of the pilot’s first published account of his 1927 accomplishments) on September 5 from Boise to Butte, Montana.
September 6, 1927 — Butte, MT. to Helena, MT.
Lindbergh took the Spirit on a six-hour and 45-minute excursion on September 6 over the vast expanses of the “Big Sky Country” of Montana and even included a brief excursion over the border with Canada into Alberta. He flew from Butte to Helena, Montana, via Swan Lake Camp, Highgate, Mt. Cleveland, Glacier National Park, Blackfoot, and Sweetgrass, Montana; Milk River, Alberta, Canada; and Great Falls, Montana. Lindbergh was clearly enjoying the sightseeing that came with flying over this beautiful part of the United States.
September 7, 1927 — Helena, Mt. to Butte, MT.
On September 7, Lindbergh flew for six hours and 5 minutes from Helena back to Butte doing fly=overs of Billings, Montana; Yellowstone Lake, and Old Faithful Geyser, Wyoming, along the way.
September 12, 1927 — Butte, MT. to Spokane, WA.
The Sprit of St. Louis remained in Butte for nearly a week before finally taking off for Spokane, Washington, on September 12. Lindbergh flew for three hours and 50 minutes via Anaconda, Bonner, and Missoula, Montana; and Wallace, Idaho.
September 13, 1927 — Spokane, WA. to Seattle, WA.
On September 13, Lindbergh left Spokane and flew east towards Seattle, Washington, flying for five hours and 15 minutes crossing the Cascade Mountains over Natches Pass and traveling via Walla Walla, Pasco, Yakima, and Renton, Washington. The silver monoplane passed over downtown Seattle, Queen Anne Hill, and took a low pass over University of Washington Stadium before landing at Sand Point Naval Air Station to greet a welcoming crowd of 3,000 people. He boarded the yacht Alarwee, which took him to the University Stadium, where he spoke to 25,000 fans in attendance.
After his standard speech about the history and future of aviation, Lindbergh next stopped at Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill where 30,000 school children greeted him. Then he headed downtown to a parade along Second Avenue. According to The Seattle Times:
“People were massed along the streets. Heads bobbed out of office windows. Hundreds looked down from roofs. Lamp posts and poles were festooned with boys of assorted sizes. On 2nd Avenue Lindy was accorded a ‘paper salute.’ Down from the windows came showers of white bits.”
This was the first use in Seattle of the New York City “paper salute” — the defenestration of streams of ticker tape and waste paper from business buildings along a parade route to recognize noted guests. Washington state was especially proud of the Spirit of St. Louis because it was constructed almost entirely from Western Washington spruce trees.
September 14, 1927 — Seattle, WA. to Portland, OR.
On the morning of September 14, Lindbergh headed back to the Spirit of St. Louis to continue his tour. He took off from the Sand Point Naval Air Station at about 9:15 a.m. He again flew over Queen Anne Hill and downtown Seattle, and then headed over Georgetown where an airport was proposed. This became the King County Airport, or Boeing Field. He flew over Renton where he dropped his package of leaflets that promoted aviation. The Spirit then flew south and circled the Capitol dome at Olympia before heading to his next stop at Portland, Oregon. The four-hour and 45-minute flight was made via Tacoma, Ft. Lewis, Olympia, Aberdeen, Centralia, Chehalis, and Home Valley, Washington. That evening, a lavish dinner was held in Lindbergh’s honor at the Indian Grill of the Multnomah Hotel in Portland.
September 16, 1927 — Portland, OR. to San Francisco, CA.
A seven-hour and five-minute flight was made on September 16 following another day of rest in Portland. Lindbergh took the Spirit of St. Louis from Portland to San Francisco via Vancouver, Washington; Silverton, Chemawa, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Crater Lake, and Medford, Oregon; Mt. Shasta’s Peak, Anderson, and Red Bluff, California. After the welcoming ceremonies, he made one five-minute flight around Mills Field, San Francisco.
September 17, 1927 — San Francisco, CA. to Oakland, CA. to Sacramento, CA.
The Spirit of St. Louis made two short flights on September 17. The first was one hour and 25 minutes in duration crossing the Bay from San Francisco to Oakland, California, making fly-overs of Mt. Tamalpais and the Golden Gate. Following the welcome ceremonies in Oakland, Lindbergh took to the skies for another one hour and 35 minutes to Sacramento, California, via Livermore, Lathrop, and Stockton.
September 19, 1927 — Sacramento, CA. to Reno, NV.
One three-hour and 35-minute flight was made on September 19 from Sacramento to Reno, Nevada, via Livermore, California.
September 20, 1927 — Reno, NV. to Los Angeles, CA.
On September 20, Lindbergh flew for seven hours from Reno, Nevada, to Los Angeles, California, via Carson City, Nevada; Yosemite Park, and Death Valley, California.
September 21, 1927 — Los Angeles, CA. to San Diego, CA.
A two-hour and 25-minute flight was made on September 21 from Los Angeles to San Diego via Pomona, California.
September 23, 1927 — San Diego, CA. to Tucson, AZ.
Lindbergh made one five-minute flight on September 23 carrying B. Franklin Mahoney before departing San Diego on a five-hour and five-minute flight to Tucson, Arizona, via El Centro, California; Mexicali, Mexico; and Yuma, Arizona.
September 24, 1927 — Tucson, AZ. to Lordsburg, N.M. to El Paso, TX.
On September 24, 1927, Lindbergh flew from Tucson to Lordsburg in southern New Mexico via Silver City and Ft. Bayard, New Mexico, in three hours and 10 minutes. He then took the Spirit of St. Louis from Lordsburg to El Paso, Texas, in a two-hour and 25-minute flight that included a fly-over of Chihuahua, Mexico.
September 25, 1927 — El Paso, TX. to Santa Fe, N.M.
The Spirit of St. Louis spent four hours and five minutes on September 25 flying between El Paso and the New Mexico capital city of Santa Fe, a journey which included fly-overs of Las Cruces and my old hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico (of course, this occurred some 38 years before my birth).
September 26, 1927 — Santa Fe, N.M. to Abilene, TX. to Fort Worth, TX.
Lindbergh began September 26 by flying from Santa Fe to Abilene, Texas, via Crosbyton, Roaring Springs, and Stamford, Texas, in five hours and 45 minutes. He then flew an additional two hours and 50 minutes to Fort Worth via Jacksboro, and Bridgeport, Texas.
September 27, 1927 — Fort Worth, TX. to Dallas, TX.
On September 27, Lindbergh made the short hop from Fort Worth to Dallas, Texas, in two hours, making fly-overs of Alvarado, Hillsboro, and Waxahachie, Texas while en route.
September 28, 1927 — Dallas, TX. to Oklahoma City, OK.
The flight from Dallas, Texas, to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was made in three hours via Denton, Texas; Ardmore, Sulphur, and Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
September 30, 1927 — Oklahoma City, OK. to Tulsa, OK.
On September 30, Lindbergh took Donald E. Keyhoe up for a five-minute flight in the Spirit of St. Louis before departing Oklahoma City. He flew for two hours and 35 minutes to Tulsa via Stillwater and Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
October 1, 1927 — Tulsa, OK. to Muskogee, OK. to Little Rock, AR.
An hour-long flight the morning of October 1 took the Spirit of St. Louis from Tulsa to Muskogee, Oklahoma. Next, Lindbergh flew to Little Rock, Arkansas, on a two-hour and 40-minute flight via Ft. Smith, Van Buren, and Booneville, Arkansas,
October 3, 1927 — Little Rock, AR. to Memphis, TN.
Following a restful day in Little Rock, Lindbergh on October 3 flew to Memphis, Tennessee, on the Mississippi River via Pine Bluff and Helena, Arkansas, in a three-hour flight.
October 4, 1927 — Memphis, TN.
Lindbergh stayed in Memphis on October 4, making only one 25-minute flight on which he carried Earl C. Thompson.
October 5, 1927 — Memphis, TN. to Chattanooga, TN. to Birmingham, AL.
On October 5, Lindbergh first flew for four hours and 40 minutes from Memphis to Chattanooga, Tennessee, via Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia, Alabama. He then made a two-hour and 30-minute direct flight from Chattanooga to Birmingham, Alabama.
October 7, 1927 — Birmingham, AL. to Jackson, MS.
A three-hour and 35-minute flight on October 7 took Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis from Birmingham to Jackson, Mississippi, via Columbus, Starkville, Maben, and Mathiston, all in Mississippi.
October 8, 1927 — Jackson, MS. to New Orleans, LA.
Lindbergh flew from Jackson on October 8 in a two-hour and 55-minute flight to New Orleans, Louisiana, via Columbia, Mississippi, and Franklinton, Louisiana.
October 10, 1927 — New Orleans, LA. to Jacksonville, FL.
Before leaving New Orleans on October 10, Lindbergh made two flights in the vicinity of the flying field searching for a downed U.S. Navy pilot with a total flight time of 40 minutes. He then departed the city, flying to Jacksonville, Florida, in five hours and 30 minutes via Pensacola and Tallahassee, Florida.
October 11, 1927 — Jacksonville, FL. to Atlanta, GA.
On October 11, Lindbergh flew from Jacksonville to Atlanta, Georgia, via McRae, Vidalia, and Millen, Georgia, in five hours and 45 minutes.
October 12, 1927 — Atlanta, GA. to Spartanburg, S.C.
The Spirit of St. Louis flew from Atlanta to Spartanburg, South Carolina, on October 12 in two hours and 40 minutes via Athens, Georgia, and Greenwood, South Carolina.
October 14, 1927 — Spartanburg, S.C. to Greensboro, N.C. to Winston-Salem, N.C.
A two-hour and 25-minute flight on October 14 brought “We” from Spartanburg to Greensboro, North Carolina, via Gaffney, South Carolina; Kings Mountain, Salisbury, and Lexington, North Carolina. Following festivities in Greensboro, Lindbergh took the silver monoplane for another 45-minute flight to Winston-Salem.
October 15, 1927 — Winston-Salem, N.C. to Richmond, VA.
On October 15, Lindbergh flew for two hours and 50 minutes from Winston-Salem to Richmond, Virginia, via Danville and South Boston, Virginia.
October 16, 1927 — Richmond, VA.
Lindbergh spent October 16 in Richmond, but made several short flights in the Spirit of St. Louis carrying various dignitaries: one 10-minute flight carrying Virginia Governor Harry R. Byrd, another 10-minute flight carrying Goodwill Tour originator Harry F. Guggenheim, and a five-minute flight with Whirlwind expert C.C. Maidment.
October 17, 1927 — Richmond, VA. to Washington, D.C.
On October 17, Lindbergh returned to the nation’s capitol in the Spirit of St. Louis, on a direct one hour and 15-minute flight.
October 18, 1927 — Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, MD.
On October 18, Lindbergh flew north from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland, on a 55-minute flight.
October 19, 1927 — Baltimore, MD. to Atlantic City, N.J.
The Spirit of St. Louis made a two-hour flight from Baltimore to Atlantic City on the New Jersey Shore, on October 19, 1927.
October 21, 1927 — Atlantic City, N.J. to Wilmington, DE.
On October 21, Lindbergh piloted the Spirit from Atlantic City to Wilmington, Delaware, on a one-hour and 50-minute flight via Mays Landing and Salem, New Jersey.
October 22, 1927 — Wilmington, DE. to Philadelphia, PA.
On October 22, 1927, the Guggenheim Goodwill Tour had it’s last huge day of festivities with Lindbergh’s visit to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The flight from Wilmington, Delaware via Chester and Media, Pennsylvania, took 55 minutes.
October 23, 1927 — Philadelphia, PA. to Mitchel Field, Long Island, N.Y.
The goodwill tour officially drew to a close on October 23 with a one-hour and 50-minute flight from Philadelphia to Mitchel Field on Long Island where it began back on July 20. Lindbergh made his last fly-overs, this time dropping his tour messages at Trenton, New Jersey, and New York City.
October 25, 1927 — Mitchel Field, Long Island, N.Y. to Teterboro, N.J.
On October 25, Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis from Mitchel Field to Teterboro Airport just west of Manhattan on a 40-minute flight carrying Milburn Kusterer. The plane would be hangered there for nearly two months.
December 5, 1927 — Teterboro, N.J.
The Spirit of St. Louis made one 15-minute test flight on December 5, circling Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
December 7, 1927 — Teterboro, N.J. to Washington, D.C.
On December 7, 1927, Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis from Teterboro Airport to Boling Field in Washington, D.C., a flight that took three hours and 15 minutes. This was in preparation for his Latin American goodwill tour which would begin on December 13. A Stamp A Day will cover that journey on a later date.
The tiny British colony of Gibraltar issued a set of six stamps on March 31, 2003, commemorating various advances in aviation (Scott #932-937). Using nice photography, it’s an attractive set. Scott #932, featuring the Wright Flyer of 1903, was previously featured on ASAD. Scott #933, utilizing the iconic photograph of Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis taken just prior to his setting off for Paris in May 1927, is denominated 40 pence. It was printed by lithography and perforated 13 x 13½. Additionally, a souvenir sheet of Scott #932-937 was released (Scott #937a), but with the stamps perforated in a gauge of 12½.