The Innocent Years

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My mother was always a fastidious house-keeper. Everything was neat, clean and in its place. She worked hard to keep it that way. As soon as I was old enough to help without breaking something, she assigned me the job of dusting the furniture.

When my dad bought her a new Hoovervacuum cleaner, she gave up her clackity old carpet sweeper. But then I had to dust furniture to the roar of that loud and raucous Hoover. And I hated it.

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At 7:52 a.m., May 20, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, in a small, single engine airplane called The Spirit of St. Louis—in an attempt to be the first man in history to fly solo, nonstop, from New York to Paris—3,600 miles across the Atlantic.


He took along five sandwiches, one quart of water, no parachute and no radio (to conserve fuel). At 10:22 p.m. Paris time, exactly 33 1/2  hours later, he glided down out of the night for a safe landing at Le Bourget airport. Both France and America went wild.

In the days ahead, Lindy became the ultimate American hero, admired around the world. Today it’s difficult to even comprehend the total dominance of his fame at that time and for some years to come. We’ve neither seen nor felt anything to equal such idolization in our current era. The shy, unassuming “Lindy” totally captivated the nation. Along with most people across the country on May 20th, we stayed glued to our Atwater- Kentradio as much as we could. We listened to sparse radio reports of sightings that first day, that long night, the next day, on into the afternoon. Finally, he made it. And with his landing in Paris came an explosive celebration. Like almost every little kid in America, I was thrilled beyond belief.

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