Fun Fact #1: His father was a U.S. Congressman.

When Lindbergh was four years old, Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District elected his father, Charles August Lindbergh, to the U.S. House of Representatives. The elder Lindbergh would serve five terms in Congress, where he won a reputation for his independent stances and fierce opposition to the Federal Reserve System. Congressman Lindbergh was among the few members[…]

Fun Fact #2: He worked as a daredevil and stunt pilot.

After learning to fly at the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation in Lincoln, Lindbergh spent two years as an itinerant stuntman and aerial daredevil. During “barnstorming” excursions through the American heartland, the young aviator wowed audiences with daring displays of wing-walking, parachuting and mid-air plane changes. After purchasing his own plane, he became one of the nation’s[…]

Fun Fact #3: He wasn’t the first person to make a transatlantic crossing in an airplane.

He wasn’t the first person to make a transatlantic crossing in an airplane. In the years before Charles Lindbergh’s New York to Paris flight, dozens of other pioneering aviators completed airborne crossings of the Atlantic. Most made the journey in multiple stages or used lighter-than-air dirigibles, but in 1919, British pilots John Alcock and Arthur[…]

Fun Fact #4: He experienced hallucinations and saw mirages during his famous flight.

Along with the perils of navigating the foggy Atlantic, Lindbergh’s biggest challenge during his transatlantic flight was simply staying awake. Between his pre-flight preparations and the 33.5-hour journey itself, he went some 55 hours without sleep. Lindbergh went so far as to buzz the surface of the ocean in the hope that the chilly sea[…]

Fun Fact #5: He achieved several more “firsts” in aviation.

Lindbergh’s transcontinental crossing made him one of the most famous men in the world. He received millions of letters from adoring fans, rode in more than a thousand miles of parades and was even given the Medal of Honor. Still, it wasn’t long before the “The Lone Eagle” took back to the skies on another ambitious[…]

Fun Fact #6: Gangster Al Capone offered to help find Lindbergh’s kidnapped baby.

On March 1, 1932, Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., was mysteriously kidnapped from his home in New Jersey. The family received thousands of offers of assistance, including one from none other than “Scarface” himself—Al Capone. While waiting to be transferred to prison on charges of tax evasion, Capone released a statement offering the Lindberghs[…]

Fun fact #7: He played a role in the advent of the space program.

Lindbergh was a famous proponent of early air travel, but he also helped sow the seeds of the space program through his work with Robert Goddard, the so-called “father of modern rocketry.” Lindbergh first learned about Goddard’s experiments with liquid-fueled rockets in late-1929, and the two soon struck up a lifelong friendship. Convinced that Goddard’s[…]

Fun Fact #8: He helped invent an early artificial heart.

Lindbergh was known for his hands-on approach to repairing and prepping his aircraft, and he later turned his mechanical wizardry toward biology. Inspired by his sister-in-law Elisabeth’s battle with heart disease, he teamed with Nobel Prize-winning French surgeon Alexis Carrel and spent much of the early 1930s working on a method for keeping organs alive[…]

Fun Fact #9: He was a major opponent of U.S. involvement in WWII.

In the late-1930s and early 1940s, Lindbergh’s ironclad reputation took a serious hit for his opposition to World War II and his apparent fascination with Nazi Germany. The aviator had made several trips to Germany in the 1930s to inspect its air force, and returned home convinced that the Luftwaffe was capable of overpowering the[…]

Fun Fact #10: He was a staunch conservationist.

Lindbergh traveled widely after World War II, and later claimed that his wanderings had made him acutely aware of the toll modern civilization was taking on animal and plant life. Arguing that he would rather have “birds than airplanes,” in the 1960s, Lindbergh threw his support behind the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union[…]