Part of the flight was through rain, sleet and snow. At times, Lindbergh flew just three meters above the water. At other times, he flew more than three thousand meters up. He said his greatest fear was falling asleep. He had not slept the night before he left.
During the thirty-three-hour flight, thousands of people waited by their radios to hear if any ships had seen Lindbergh's plane. There was no news from Lindbergh himself. He did not carry a radio. He had removed it to provide more space for fuel.
On the evening of May Twenty-First, people heard the exciting news. Lindbergh had landed at Le Bourget airport near Paris. Even before the plane's engine stopped, Lindbergh and "The Spirit of St. Louis" were surrounded by a huge crowd of shouting, crying, joyful people. From the moment he landed in France, he was a hero. The French, British and Belgian governments gave him their highest honors.
Back home in the United States, he received his own country's highest awards. The cities of Washington and New York honored him with big parades. He flew to cities all over the United States for celebrations.
He also flew to several Latin American countries as a representative of the United States government. During a trip to Mexico, he met Anne Morrow, the daughter of the American ambassador. They were married in Nineteen-Twenty-Nine.
Lindbergh taught his new wife to fly. Together, they made many long flights. Life seemed perfect. Then, everything changed.
On a stormy night in Nineteen-Thirty-Two, kidnappers took the baby son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh from their home in New Jersey. Ten weeks later, the boy's body was found. Police caught the murderer several years later. A court found him guilty and sentenced him to death.
The kidnapping and the trial were big news. Reporters gave the Lindberghs no privacy. So Charles and Anne fled to Britain and then to France to try to escape the press. They lived in Europe for four years. But they saw the nations of Europe preparing for war. They returned home before war broke out in Nineteen-Thirty-Nine.