On May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget Airport in Paris after a flight of 33½ hours. Touching down at 10:24 pm, Paris time, Lindbergh had become the first person to successfully make a solo, nonstop flight from America to Europe.
Crowds of Parisians flocked to the field to see the hero of the hour, whose daring flight had captured the world's imagination. Edwin L. James, reporter for the New York Times, recorded the moment: “The movement of humanity swept over soldiers and policemen, and there was the wild sight of thousands of men and women rushing madly across the half a mile of the not-too-even ground. ... Soldiers and police tried for one small moment to stem the tide, then joined it, rushing as madly as anyone else toward the aviator and his plane.”
Lindbergh later wrote in his memoir of the flight, named after his trusted plane, "The Spirit of St. Louis," “I was completely unprepared for the welcome which awaited me on Le Brouget. I had no idea that my plane had been so accurately reported along its route..."
As Lindbergh brought his plane to a stop, the crowd rushed toward him, pulling him from the plane and hoisting him above their heads in celebration. He later wrote, “I found myself lying in a prostrate position, up on top of the crowd, in the center of an ocean of heads that extended as far out into the darkness as I could see.”
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