Lindbergh Boulevard, which is a highway from Center City Philadelphia to the airport, is named after Charles Lindbergh, the aviator who, on May 20-21, 1927, flew his single-engine plane, the Spirit Of St Louis, from New York to Paris; at that time, it was a major accomplishment, and it made Lindbergh an American hero. (https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/charles-a-lindbergh) Now, however, we are remembering the seedier side of “the Lone Eagle.”
- His Nazi sympathies
In 1936 the US government had Lindbergh tour Germany to examine the nation’s air fleet and report back his findings; but he admired Germany’s aircraft technology, factories, bases, and airports. In October 1938, Hermann Goering awarded Lindbergh the Service Cross of the German Eagle. After Kristallnacht, when Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed and Jews were sent to the concentration camps, Lindbergh refused to return the medal.
Lindbergh was racist and anti-Semitic, writing in Reader’s Digest of the importance of protecting “that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood, only so long as we guard ourselves against attack by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races.” Lindbergh was a star spokesman of the America First Committee, which advocated the nation not entering the emerging World War II, and was a friend of Henry Ford and a spokesman for the Ford Motor Company.
- The Lindbergh Baby and Eugenics
In March 1, 1932, Lindbergh’s baby son, Charles Jr. was abducted from the family’s home in Hopewell, New Jersey. Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German-immigrant carpenter, was charged, convicted and executed for the murder of the baby.
But there are questions about “Did Lindbergh have the baby killed?” Charles Jr. had such problems as rickets, a cranium that was too large, and hammertoes. Charles Sr. was a strong believer in the supposed “superiority” of Northern European races, and in the pseudo-science of Eugenics, which called for the elimination of people with “unfit genes.” Lindbergh was close with Dr. Alexis Carrell, a Nobel-prize winning surgeon and advocate for Eugenics; calling for the ongoing “improvement” of the white race.
This has raised the question, “Did Lindbergh himself kill the baby? Lindbergh personally took charge of the search, and ordered the baby’s body creamated. Because of Charles Jr.’s physical problems, Lindbergh scorned the baby, calling him “it.”
I don’t believe such a person should be honored by placing his name on an important Philadelphia highway; therefore, I advocate renaming Lindbergh Boulevard after somebody way more worthy of the honor.