'It's the colonel!' Lindbergh's ties to Montana remembered on 95th anniversary of historic flight

DENNIS GAUB Historian

This year marks the 95th anniversary of when Charles Lindbergh electrified the world, and when the most famous person on the planet, the first media-developed hero of the modern era, returned to Montana.

A head and shoulders portrait of Col. Charles Lindbergh wearing a leather flight hat and goggles around his neck. Picture taken sometime between 1925 and 1935.

Unidentified photographer, Montana Historical Society Collection

Lindbergh’s enduring fame resulted from his first-in-history May 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. He flew The Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris, a 3,600-mile trip in 33-1/2 hours. That seems slow today when jets travel from the U.S. to Europe in 10-11 hours, yet this was a little more than two decades after the Wright Brothers’ first flight. What Lindbergh accomplished made him the toast of kings, presidents, business leaders and regular people across the globe.

News of Lindbergh’s feat ushered in the modern era of media-driven fame and instant celebrity status for those whose accomplishments captivate the public. Baby Boomers need only think of the Beatles’ arrival on

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