Collection Item Summary:
In the spring of 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh, with the backing of several St. Louis men, entered the competition for the $25,000 prize offered by Raymond Orteig for the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris.
In February of that year Lindbergh placed an order with Ryan Airlines in San Diego for an aircraft with specifications necessary to make the flight. Lindbergh flew the aircraft from San Diego to New York on May 10—12, making only one stop, at St. Louis.
Lindbergh took off from NY for Paris on the morning of May 20, 1927. Thirty-three hours, 30 minutes, and 3,610 miles later he landed safely at Le Bourget Field, near Paris.
From July 20 until October 23 of that year he took the famous plane on a tour of the United States. Then, on December 13, he and the Spirit of St. Louis flew nonstop from Washington to Mexico City; through Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico; and nonstop from Havana to St. Louis.
On April 30, 1928, the Spirit of St. Louis made its final flight—from St. Louis to Washington, D.C where Lindbergh presented the aircraft to the Smithsonian Institution.