Charles Lindbergh: Record of American Heroes in 1920s

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American heroes during the 1920’s excited Americans because of the circumstances occurring at the time they became popular. Due to morals switching up in society, it made Americans eager for values that were held at an earlier time period. Unfortunately, many, if not all, Americans had a vivid image of World War One and the cruelty that came with it. This contributed to Americans strong attraction to these heroes. To some Americans, Charles Lindbergh’s actions were evidence to the moral values that were previously held in the past in America. Even though Lindbergh fascinated many people by his aviating accomplishment, the most excitement was actually toward professional baseball player Babe Ruth. He was such a big deal during this time period from the records he held for home runs per season and overall. These records were not beat for years after his retirement. Jack Dempsey won a major fight to earn the title of the heavyweight champion and a new American Hero from defeating Georges Carpentier. This fight was so popular that it broke the record for ticket sales. This large crowd contributes to his heroic views from Americans. Another important figure was Amelia Earhart who completed a non stop solo flight from Hawaii to California. The excitement at the time was surreal. Some heroes were sport stars, while others were aviators. But in the end, each one of the mentioned heroes all made a name for themselves through their actions, all of which have never been done before. This time period can be seen as either one of decadence or conservatism. Decadence is modern and change, and is typically viewed as naughty by others. Conservatism is traditional and moving backwards in society and in America. Conservative people tend to oppose change and strive to hold original ideas. During the 1920’s, many Americans were interested in the accomplishments by these heroes. These heroes all fall under decadence considering these heroes all tried new things and completed tasks and set records that no one has previously done. The decade of the 1920's is one of both decadence and conservatism as seen through the actions of Charles Lindbergh.

Charles Lindbergh is known for completing the first nonstop flight from New York City, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, to Paris on May 20, 1927. However, prior to this extravaganza, Lindbergh lived a life. He began his life at the University of Wisconsin where his interest of being an aviator sparked. He later attended an army flying school located in Texas which led him to become an airmail pilot. He traveled from St Louis, Missouri to Chicago. Because of this job, he was able to acquire financial banking from several businessmen. These businessmen lead Lindbergh’s attempt to win the Orteig Prize, a $25,000 prize for the first person to complete a nonstop flight from New York to Paris. Lindbergh had used a monoplane known as the Spirit Of St. Louis, which was equipped with several extra fuel tanks for the long trip. Prior to Lindbergh’s adventure, two other aviators had attempted to complete this task to win the prize, however, were lost at sea. Charles Nungesser was the aviator on this particular attempt and was a very well known figure in France from his pilot prowess. This ultimately reveals the difficulty that comes with this task. Hence why Lindbergh can be seen as decadent considering that he wanted to show the world what can be accomplished, but through a risky adventure. This could be seen as bad at first to people around the world since two people went missing trying to do what Lindbergh did. But once he completed the trip, he was recognized as a hero. In the end, he wanted change in the world and to show people that anything is possible.

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Lindbergh also accomplished many other important things in his life. For example, by working with Alexis Carrel, they together were able to create the perfusion pump. The purpose of this device was to keep organs alive even when they are outside of the body. Afterall, this device was not used nationwide, but did serve as a antecedent for the heart-lung machine. By attempting to create a perfusion pump shows how this was a time period of decadence to create new devices that will impact those living in America in a positive manner. In 1929, Lindbergh happened to create travel routes for both Transcontinental Air Transport and Pan American World Airways to use when in the sky.

Finding racial equality and maintaining it around the world has been a struggle. Lindbergh was a white supremacist, meaning that he thought the white race was superior to all others. This shows a conservatism viewpoint since white supremacists move backwards and become farther and farther away from maintaining racial equality. This was an issue considering that many Americans wanted equality.. Lindbergh did not want change and strived to have the white population be on top in the social hierarchy over all other races. He rather liked to keep the traditional values that whites had toward all other people, which is what the U.S as a whole was trying to break away from. Being a white supremacist, he believed that the Jewish population wanted the U.S in European conflict. In addition, he strived to maintain American Neutrality in the World War II outbreak. With that policy, he also wanted American Isolationism, where the U.S would not involve in other countries conflicts globally. These thoughts and actions are evidence that this time period could be one under conservatism. White supremacy, isolationism, and neutrality were all things that Wilson advocated for during the outbreak of World War I. Lindbergh wants to follow traditional actions taken in the first world war, which reveals his opposition to wanting a change.

While Lindbergh was a high ranked advisor for the U.S Army Air Corps, he made it appoint that the U.S needs to expand their defense. However, when Roosevelt compared Lindbergh to Confederate Clement Vallandigham, he left his job. After this, he gave a speech which addressed the American population that the propaganda is being used to worry Americans. But when World War II broke out, Lindbergh had flown fifty different combat expeditions. His responsibility was to bomb enemy areas and naval targets. One of his major accomplishments on the job was attacking the Japanese aircraft known as “Sonia”, which was a threat to the U.S. His most recognized achievements was discovering a way to limit the amount of fuel consumption of the P- 38 aircraft, which allowed more travel time and distance in a trip. With that being said, he was a major advocate for conserving natural resources.

The U.S could not adopt a policy of neutrality due to the economy and military both increasing rapidly, leading to a needed connection to allies for trade and politics. The U.S rather avoided this strategy in order to maintain those relationships out of the country with their allies. What Lindenbergh wished for was the idea of “Fortress America”, in which U.S was safe and armed for defense, but won’t enter in to foreign conflicts in Europe. This shows conservatism since Lindbergh’s ideas were of those in the past, and clearly did not succeed. However, the U.S as a whole represents decadence since they choose to be part of the allied forces in order for trade and politics to succeed. In addition, even though Lindbergh was a huge figure when discussing aviation and flight, he now contradicted his actions by stating that air travel impacts the environment in a negative manner.

Charles Lindbergh had an overall positive impact on the decade of the 1920’s. He inspired future aviators and also taught those inspired how to fly. On the war side of things, Lindbergh saw and noticed Germany’s increasing air force and recognized that the allied had poor forces that needed to get stronger. When Lindbergh was the main spokesman for the America First Committee, an anti war organization, some soon thought that he was on the Germans side of the war, rather than the allies. This made many people question him and draw back from his popularity. When he became a mail pilot, it was dangerous on occasion, but is part of the reason why he considered the transcontinental trip. With that, he manufactured his monoplane to hold the most fuel as possible while lessened the amount of weight the aircraft held. He also furthered commercial aviation. The decade of the 1920’s is one of the both decadence and conservatism as seen through the actions of Charles Lindbergh and his efforts to both make a change and do something that has never been done, but also from the traditional values he still maintained.

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