Saturday, November 6, 2010

" The Spirit of St. Louis " - a great movie to watch on a Saturday afternoon

Saturday afternoons are something that can be fun as there is no set, it was cold & grey. A perfect afternoon for a movie.

Sat down to watch " The Spirit of St. Louis" on Turner Classic Movies (TCM)- A great movie with Jimmy Stewart as Charles Lindbergh. He flew over Southeast Massachusetts, likely passing within miles of where my 160 year old house sits. I wasn't here then, but my house was for sure.

On May 21, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh completed the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in history, flying his Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis" 5,810 kilometers (3,610 miles) between Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, and Paris, France, in 33 hours, 30 minutes. With this flight, Lindbergh won the $25,000 prize offered by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first aviator to fly an aircraft directly across the Atlantic between New York and Paris. When he landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris, Lindbergh became a world hero who would remain in the public eye for decades.

The aftermath of the flight was the "Lindbergh boom" in aviation: aircraft industry stocks rose in value and interest in flying skyrocketed. Lindbergh's subsequent U.S. tour in the "Spirit of St. Louis" demonstrated the potential of the airplane as a safe, reliable mode of transportation. Following the U.S. tour, Lindbergh took the aircraft on a goodwill flight to Central and South America, where flags of the countries he visited were painted on the cowling.

"Spirit of St. Louis" was named in honor of Lindbergh's supporters in St. Louis, Missouri, who paid for the aircraft. "NYP" is an acronym for "New York-Paris," the object of the flight.

We routinely fly where we want to go and it seems as this is the way it always has been but back then, flight was a dangerous and unproven way of getting from point "A" to point " B ".

I did not agree with Mr. Lindbergh's politics, but his uncommon courage and determination still stands as a testament to a pioneer of flight.

No comments: