Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Happy Birthday, Charles A. Lindbergh!

Do you have dates in your life that just stick with you? No matter how obscure? February 4th is one of those dates for me. It's the date, in 1902, that aviator Charles A. Lindbergh was born in Detroit, Michigan to his parents Charles Sr. and Evangeline Lindbergh.
Charles with his mother, Evangeline

Charles Sr. and Charles Jr.
The reason this date sticks with me is because I worked at the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site in Little Falls, Minnesota for ten years. I was hired in high school as an intern and then was hired as a tour guide during college. I remained a tour guide for about five years, and then after college I was hired as the assistant site manager (with a interim stint as manager while the permanent manager was being hired). After having my second child, I resigned from my work at the Lindbergh House (with many sad tears to leave, but happy tears to start a new chapter in my life) and began my stay-at-home-mom job, and ultimately my writing career.

The Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Home
I know almost everything there is to know about the birth, life, and death of the famous aviator. As a tour guide, I spent countless hours sharing the Lindbergh story with thousands of visitors over the years. In many ways, the Lindbergh family became my own (I actually met Anne Morrow Lindbergh and several other Lindbergh family). So February 4th stands out to me.

Charles and Anne
Charles A. Lindbergh was born in Detroit, but his parents were living in Little Falls, Minnesota at the time. Charles' mother, Evangeline, traveled from Little Falls to be in Detroit where her family lived, and where her uncle was a doctor. A few weeks later, she traveled back to Little Falls with her infant son and he grew up along the banks of the Mississippi in Minnesota. When his father became a congressman in 1907 (when Charles was five), he and his mother began to spend their winters in Washington, D.C., and their summers in Little Falls. For ten years, Charles was brought back and forth, making very few friends. He loved his summers on their farm in Little Falls, and from 1917 to 1920, he and his mother stayed on the farm year-round, until he left for college.

Charles on the Mississippi in Little Falls
The home was empty, with a few visits by the family over the years. After Charles made his famous trans-Atlantic flight in 1927 in his airplane, The Spirit of St. Louis, souvenir hunters almost destroyed the home and the family eventually donated it to the State of Minnesota so it would be maintained and protected.

Charles with the Governor of Minnesota after his 1927 flight
Today, 102 years after Charles A. Lindbergh's birth, the house still stands and is a wonderful place to visit.

Yes, February 4th still stays with me. Happy Birthday, Charles.

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