Charles Lindbergh and his world-famous Spirit of St. Louis monoplane are met by crowds in Surrey, England, following his historic transatlantic flight.

Photograph courtesy Corbis

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  • On May 21, 1927, American aviator Charles Lindbergh landed his monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing one of the world’s first transatlantic flights. (The first transatlantic flight was completed by British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown in 1919.)
     
    Lindbergh had departed Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, at 7:40 a.m. the previous day. In Paris, more than 25,000 people stood staring into the sky waiting for Lindbergh’s plane to arrive, and finally, 33.5 hours after take-off, it did. 
     
    Lindbergh’s first words when getting out of the cockpit were, “Well, I made it.” He also graciously acknowledged his predecessors "Alcock and Brown showed me the way!"
     
    With the completion of this overnight trip, Lindbergh became a celebrity, and expanded opportunities for travel, shipment, and communications across the Atlantic.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    celebrity Noun

    famous person.

    cockpit Noun

    space in the front of an airplane or other high-tech vehicle, containing the flight controls, instrument panel, and seats for the pilot and copilot.

    communication Noun

    sharing of information and ideas.

    expand Verb

    to grow.

    previous Adjective

    earlier, or the one before.

    transatlantic Adjective

    across the Atlantic Ocean.

    travel Noun

    movement from one place to another.