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Lindbergh Comes to OKC

Charles Lindbergh was the most admired man in the world when he came to Oklahoma City following his historic 1927 Trans-Atlantic solo flight in the Spirit of St. Louis. Seventy thousand people flooded the State Fairgrounds to witness his procession. Love and adoration for him further skyrocketed following the 1932 murder of his baby boy.

As President Franklin Roosevelt’s power rose in the 1930s, the “Lone Eagle” was the only man who could rival his popularity. This strengthened his bold stand against Roosevelt’s ill-conceived, and deadly, use of U.S. Army Air Corps pilots to deliver air mail in the 1934 Air Mail Scandal. That stand birthed in FDR a bitter and enduring antagonism toward Lindbergh.

This animus exploded years later as Lindbergh again rose as Roosevelt’s foremost adversary. He opposed the American involvement against the Nazi German and Imperial Japanese military machines that he (correctly) suspected Roosevelt was already secretly engineering (Chapter 4). He did not believe that these nations threatened a constitutionally-behaving U.S.A. Roosevelt and other argued that they were a menace to America.

Roosevelt, his subordinates, and academic and media allies savaged Lindbergh as an anti-Semite, fellow traveler of the Nazis, and a Nazi himself. The government tapped his phone, read his mail, and did the same to vast numbers of people who agreed with him. As always he did, the Lone Eagle conducted himself as a gentleman and did not stoop to the insults of his attackers. He charted a steady and determined course predicated on the philosophy animating the climactic sequence of George Washington’s famed Farewell Address, that America should: