May 21, 1927
Charles A. Lindbergh, flying his plane “The Spirit of St. Louis,” arrived at Le Bourget Field near Paris, France, 33-and-a-half hours after he departed from Roosevelt Airfield in Garden City, New York. That long journey made the pilot widely known as “The Lone Eagle” the first person to complete a solo non-stop, transatlantic flight.
Approximately 150,000 spectators were on hand to greet Lindbergh that Saturday night in France, and a large number of them pulled the pilot out of his plane and carried him around over their heads for about a half-hour. Ultimately, however, a group of French soldiers, policemen, and military aviators managed to retrieve both Lindbergh and his plane and take both to safety inside a nearby hangar.
The 25-year-old pilot instantly became a worldwide hero for his airborne achievement. “He had traveled over 3,600 miles [5,800 kilometers] and established a new and remarkable record,” President Calvin Coolidge subsequently proclaimed when bestowing upon Lindbergh the Distinguished Flying Cross. “The execution of his project was perfect.”
For more information on Charles A. Lindbergh’s trailblazing 1927 transatlantic flight, please check out https://pioneersofflight.si.edu/content/first-solo-nonstop-transatlantic-flight