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Grand Rapids in 1856

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Lone Eagle Arrives

Lone Eagle Arrives

GRHC - February 15th, 2012

It was a memorable day in 1927 when Col. Charles A. Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis were welcomed to Grand Rapids by the largest reception in the city's history.



A small Ryan monoplane touched down at the old Kent County airport on Friday, August 12, 1927. Thousands cheered as the Spirit of St. Louis taxied to the north side of the field. A lanky lad, clad in a brown leather flight jacket, climbed down to a tumultuous welcome. Not quite three months after making his stunning solo flight across the Atlantic, Lucky Lindy, as Col. Charles A. Lindbergh was affectionately known, landed in Grand Rapids.

After a brief ceremony, the colonel joined Mayor Swarthout in an open limousine that led a motorcade to John Ball Park. The streets were lined with waving crowds anxious to get a glimpse of the world famous hero.

About 25,000 people were waiting at the park where Lindbergh gave a radio address about the growing importance of aviation. He encouraged educators to include courses on aviation in the school system. No doubt his visit inspired many a youngster to dream of becoming a pilot.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in press interviews at a suite in the Pantlind Hotel. That evening a banquet, attended by 2000 admirers, was held in his honor at the National Guard Armory. Lindbergh spent the night at the Pantlind and left the next morning for Chicago.

Approximately 50,000 citizens paid tribute to “Lindy” that Friday afternoon. Never before in local history had there been such a reception as the day the Lone Eagle flew into Grand Rapids.

Full Details

TitleLone Eagle Arrives
KeywordsWYCE; radio; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; Lone Eagle; Spirit of St. Louis; John Ball Park; Charles A. Lindbergh; monoplane
Pubdate StringFebruary 15th, 2012

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