Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo
Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site
1620 Lindbergh Drive S.
Little Falls, MN 56345

Hours

Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day:
Thu-Sat 10 am-5 pm
Sun Noon-5 pm
 
Open Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day, 10 am-5 pm.
 
May and September:
Sat 10 am-5 pm
 
Special events are held year round. Call for group tours.

Admission

  • $8 adults
  • $7 seniors and college students
  • $6 children ages 6-17
  • Free for children age 5 and under and MNHS members.

Contact

320-616-5421

2014 Oct 26

32°
Clear | Wind Calm
updated: 12:22 wunderground.com
 

Timeline

1858, Jan. 10: Charles August Lindbergh is Born - Charles August (C.A.) Lindbergh, father of aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, is born Karl August in Stockholm, Sweden to Ola Månsson and his mistress Louvisa Callén. A year later the family immigrates to Melrose, Minn., changing their names to Lindbergh at that time.

1876, May 26: Evangeline Lodge Land is Born - Evangeline Lodge Land, mother of aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, is born in Detroit on May 26, 1876. She spends her youth practicing piano and attending Miss Liggett's private school.

1883: C.A. Lindbergh Graduates from Law School - C.A. Lindbergh studies at the University of Michigan. Following his graduation, he establishes his law firm in Little Falls, Minn.

1887, April: C.A. Lindbergh's First Marriage - C.A. Lindbergh marries Mary LaFond, daughter of two of Little Falls' original settlers and owners of the boarding house in which he resided. The couple have two daughters, Lillian and Eva. Mary dies in 1898.

1899, May: Evangeline Land Graduates from College - At the University of Michigan, Evangeline Land studies Chemistry. A year after graduation, Evangeline moves to Little Falls, to teach high school chemistry.

1901, Feb. 27: C.A. Lindbergh's Second Marriage - Having met while living at the Antler's Hotel in Little Falls, C.A. Lindbergh briefly courts Evangeline Land before they marry at her parent's home in Detroit. The couple then enjoy a ten week "wedding tour" before they settle into their newly constructed three-story home along the Mississippi River south of Little Falls.

1902, Feb. 04: Charles Augustus Lindbergh is Born - Evangeline Lindbergh returns to Detroit so that her uncle, Dr. Edwin Lodge, could deliver her son in her parent’s home. Charles Augustus Lindbergh is born at 1:30 a.m., weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces. The mother and child remain in Detroit for about five weeks before returning to Little Falls.

1903, Dec. 17: First Powered Airplane Flight - Orville Wright pilots the Wright Flyer 20 feet above the beach at Kitty Hawk. His flight lasts 12 seconds and covers 120 feet. Both Orville and his brother, Wilbur, continue making flights throughout the day. The longest flight of 852 feet in 59 seconds is made by Wilbur. It is not until 1908 that the Wright brothers are hailed as leaders in aviation after a 78-mile flight in their latest airplane.

1905, Aug. 6: House Fire - The Lindbergh family is gathered in the living room. Evangeline is playing her piano and C.A. is playing with young Charles, making lots of noise. In the midst of this commotion, the cook enters the room and says as calmly as if she were announcing dinner, “Mrs. Lindbergh, the house is on fire.” Charles is rushed outside and told not to look. This event becomes an early memory. The family has about 20 minutes to rescue their belongings before the house is completely destroyed.

1906, June 22: Anne Spencer Morrow is Born - Anne Morrow is the second child born to Dwight and Betty Morrow in Englewood, N.J. As the daughter of a successful businessman, politician and diplomat, Anne is raised in an upper class household where education is considered to be of high importance.

1906, November: C.A. Lindbergh Elected to U.S. Congress - In 1906, C.A. Lindbergh is elected to represent Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District in the U. S. House of Representatives. This is the beginning of ten years of moving his family between Little Falls and Washington, D.C. Young Charles is in attendance with his father for the opening ceremonies of the 60th U.S. Congressional Session a few months later.

1905 - 1906: Second House Built - The smaller, one and a half story bungalow home, is built on the foundation of the previous home. It is designed by Carl Bolander and never completely finished while the Lindberghs lived there.

1908, Oct. 1: First Model T Automobile Produced by Ford - Henry Ford introduces the moving assembly line, greatly reducing the cost of manufacturing. When the Model T debuts in 1908, it costs $825.00 and more than 10,000 are sold in its first year. The Lindbergh's purchase their first automobile in 1912, which the family names Maria. Lindbergh describes it as “a Ford Model T tourabout with Ford’s standard foot-pedal gearshift, four-cylinder engine, smooth-faced clincher-rim tires, carbide headlights, hand crank, squeeze rubber-bulb horn, folding waterproof cloth top, and quick fasten-on side curtains for rainy days.”

1909, July 25: First Monoplane Flight Across English Channel - French pilot Louis Blériot is the first person to fly a monoplane across the English Channel from Calais, France, to Dover, England. He makes his flight in 37 minutes.

1911, Sept. 1: Aeroplane in Little Falls - Charles recalls “I was playing upstairs in our house. The sound of a distant engine drifted in through an open window. I ran to the window and climbed out onto the roof. It was an airplane! A biplane was less than two hundred yards away. I watched it fly quickly out of sigh. . . . I used to imagine myself with wings on which I could swoop down off our roof into the valley, soaring through air from one river bank to the other, over stones of the rapids, above log jams, above the tops of trees and fences. I thought often of the men who really flew.”

1914, Aug. 1: The Great War Begins - World War I begins in Europe with airplanes taking a central role, first for reconnaissance and then as fighters. The airplane industry responds to demand by making planes with increased speed, strength and strategy. The most skillful pilots earn the unofficial rank of “ace” and many, including French pilots René Fonck and Charles Nungesser, “The Red Baron” von Richtofen of Germany, and American Edward Rickenbacker, become international heroes.

1916, October: Travel to California - Evangeline Lindbergh wants to make amends with her estranged step-daughter, Lillian, who is dying of tuberculosis in Southern California. As a result, Charles drives his mother, Uncle Charles H. Land Jr., and the family dog, Wagoosh, to California in the family's 1916 Saxon Six. The trip takes 40 days and they arrive after Lillian passes away. They spend the winter in Redondo Beach and return to Little Falls the following spring.

1917, April 6: The United States Declares War on Germany - C.A. Lindbergh works hard during his time in Congress arguing to keep the United States from entering Europe’s war, saying: “The trouble with war is that it kills off the best men a country has.”

1918: Charles Farms for War Effort - Charles recalls “In high school my marks fell so low that I doubt very much I could have passed the final examinations required for graduation. I was rescued by World War I. At a general assembly meeting in late winter, the principal announced that food was so badly needed in connection with the war that any student who wanted to work on a farm could leave school and still receive full academic credit just as though he had attended his classes and taken examinations. Farm workers would be badly needed to replace the men drafted for military service. I left classes as soon as school regulations permitted and returned only to receive my diploma.” Charles continues to run the dairy farm for the next two years.

1918, Nov. 11: Armistice Day - Charles is at a farm auction when the auctioneer stops activity and announces that the armistice in Europe has been signed ending the war. Charles planned to enlist in the armed services at his 18th birthday and now has to rethink his future. Charles recalls war stories:  “The story I remember best, although I do not now recall any of the details, related to one ‘Tam o’ the Scoots,’ a magazine serial about a mythical World War I fighter pilot who soon, of course, became an ace. I think this story had considerable effect on my decision to enlist in the army when I was old enough and to become a fighter pilot myself.”

1920, September - 1921, December: Lindbergh Attends University of Wisconsin - After farming for a few years, Charles enrolls in the engineering program at the University of Wisconsin. Evangeline also moves to Madison. Charles focuses his time on the Reserve Officer Training Corps program where he excels on the rifle and pistol squads. After three semesters Charles drops out of college due to poor grades.

1922, April 7: Lindbergh’s First Flight as a Passenger - Charles selects Nebraska Aircraft Corporation Flight School in Lincoln because the program includes not only flying, but aircraft building and maintenance. After a week, Otto Timm, the company’s chief engineer and stunt flyer, takes Lindbergh up in a Lincoln Standard Tourabout. Sixteen-year-old Harland “Bud” Gurney, who would become a lifelong friend, joins Lindbergh in the cockpit for his first flight. The company is sold before Lindbergh can complete his training and fly his first solo flight.

1922, June: “Double Jump” - Lindbergh sees parachute maker Lt. Charles Hardin give a demonstration in Lincoln and asks for instruction in making a “double jump,” or a jump where one chute opens and is discarded before a second chute delivers the jumper to the ground. Charles makes his leap from 1,800 feet and the first chute opens perfectly. However, the second chute does not open right away. Never having made a parachute jump before, Lindbergh has no idea that something is wrong until he begins to fall headfirst. After another long moment, the chute opens and he lands safely. Lindbergh does not panic but decides “that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary lifetime.”

1923, April 9: Lindbergh’s First Solo Flight - C.A. Lindbergh finances the purchase of his son's first airplane, a Curtis JN4-D, commonly called a “Jenny.” Lindbergh buys the plane without having a license or having ever flown solo. After a short practice with another young aviator, he makes his first solo flight that same day.

1923, May: C.A. Lindbergh's Campaign - Charles returns to Minnesota to help his father campaign for the senate seat newly vacated by the passing of Knute Nelson. In the end C.A. received less than 20 percent of the vote, coming in a distant third in the election. While in Minnesota, Charles makes a stop at his Little Falls home.

1924, March 15 - 1925, March 14: U.S. Army Flying Cadet - Charles joins 103 other young men at Brooks Field, in Texas, to begin training in the Army. Lindbergh completes his first year with the second highest marks and graduates to Kelley Field where he continues to do well in his studies.

1924, May 24: C.A. Lindbergh Dies of Brain Tumor - C.A. Lindbergh is admitted to the Colonial Hospital in Rochester, Minn., where he is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He dies in Crookston, Minn., on May 24, 1924. Funeral services take place at the First Unitarian Church in Minneapolis, a memorial plaque was mounted in his honor at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis and Charles spreads his father’s ashes over the Melrose homestead where C.A. grew up.

1925, March 5: First Emergency Jump - A midair collision forces Charles to jump from an open cockpit, single-seat SE-5 scout biplane, while a student pilot at Kelly Field, in Texas. Lindbergh writes about parachutes and military flying: "There is a saying in the service about the parachute: 'If you need it and haven't got it, you'll never need it again!' That just about sums up its value to aviation."

1925, March 14: Charles Graduates form Flying School - Charles graduates first in his class from the U.S. Air Service Flying School at Kelly Field; he is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Service Reserve Corps. Following his graduation, Lindbergh moves to St. Louis.

1926, April 15: Robertson Aircraft's Inaugural Airmail Flight - Charles becomes the chief pilot for the Robertson Aircraft Corporation's St. Louis to Chicago Airmail route, picking up 15,000 letters from Springfield, Ill. on his first flight. Despite the challenges in flying through all kinds of weather, Lindbergh and his team would complete better than 98 percent of their scheduled flights.

1926, September: Lindbergh Decides To Try New York to Paris Flight - After learning about French flying ace, René Ronck's, attempt at the Orteig Prize, Charles decides that "a nonstop flight between New York and Paris would be less hazardous than flying mail for a single winter." He begins making preparations, finding a group of St. Louis businessmen to be his financial backers and finding the perfect single engined airplane for the flight.

1927, Feb. 25: Lindbergh Signs Contract with Ryan Aeronautical Co. - Charles decides on Ryan Aeronautical Co. of San Diego to custom build an airplane for the New York to Paris flight. He names the plane Spirit of St. Louis in honor of the men who finance the venture.

1927, April 25: Factory Work Complete - The Ryan crew attach the wings to the body of the plane, going over every detail until it is unanimously agreed that the plane is ready to fly. Lindbergh runs the plane through 23 test flights, each one proving that the Spirit of St. Louis is ready for its transatlantic flight.

1927, May 6: L'oiseau blanc takes off from Paris - French pilots, Charles Nungesser and François Coli, take off from Paris' Le Bourget aerodome in their Levasseur biplane, L'oiseau blanc (White Bird). They are expected to land in New York three days later, however they never arrive. They are last sighted over Ireland before disappearing. To this day, no one is sure what happened to them.

1927, May 20: Take Off! - After being grounded for more than a week due to bad weather, Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island at 6:52 a.m. People track his progress as he makes his way up the New England and Canadian coast until he ventures out over the Atlantic.

1927, May 21: Landing! - After 33 hours, 29 minutes and 30 seconds, Lindbergh lands at Le Bourget airfield in Paris, successfully becoming the first person to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. Instantly, Charles Lindbergh becomes the most famous man in the world.

1927, June 11: U.S. Homecoming - After only a few weeks in Europe, Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis return to the United States aboard the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Memphis.

1927, June 16: Orteig Prize - Raymond Orteig awards the $25,000 Orteig prize to Charles A. Lindbergh for being the first person to travel from New York to Paris nonstop in an airplane.

1927, July 20 - Oct 23: Good Will Tour - Lindbergh tours the U.S. with the Spirit of St. Louis making 82 stops in 48 states. During this time he makes the first nonstop flight from Washington to Mexico City and is awarded the Medal of Honor by an Act of Congress.

1927, Dec: Christmas with the Morrows - While in Mexico during his Latin America Good Will Tour, Charles spends Christmas with the family of Dwight W. Morrow, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. There he meets the ambassador's daughter, Anne, who becomes his wife.