Did you know Charles Lindbergh was a Master Mason? Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 4, 1902. His early years were spent in Little Falls, Minnesota, where his father was a politician, where Charles attended school, but only sporadically. Because of a peculiar law, he was able to receive his diploma in 1918. He wanted to enlist in the Army Air Corps, but at the insistence of mother, he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin. He stayed there just over a year. His interests concerned automobiles, machinery, guns, and motorcycles.
He said goodbye to his mother when he was 20 and on March 22, 1922, joined a flying school conducted by the Nebraska Aircraft Company in Lincoln. He invested $500 in flying lessons. He was a natural. After only seven hours of instruction, he was qualified enough to join a barnstorming and stunt team as a handyman, mechanic, wing walker, and pilot. He became known as "Daredevil Lindbergh," the man who was able to hang by his teeth from a wing.
In St. Louis, Lindbergh sought "light." He applied to Keystone Lodge No. 243, A.F.&A.M. for the degrees in Freemasonry. His petition was approved. On June 9, 1926 he was Initiated an Entered Apprentice; Passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft on October 20, 1926; and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on December 15, 1926. He later became a member of St. Louis Chapter No. 22, National Sojourners.
As time went by, Lindbergh's frustration grew. It appeared others would beat him to the "prize." But a series of misfortunes plagued those who might have won. Finally, he found the Ryan Aeronautical Company willing to build a plane to his specifications. In February 1927, he traveled to San Diego to personally supervise the building of "The Spirit of St. Louis."
It was built. On May 10, 1927, Lindbergh left San Diego, stopped at St. Louis, then landed at Curtis Field, Long Island, New York. He had established another record. He had flown from coast to coast in a mere 21 hours and 20 minutes.
At 7:52 A.M. on May 20, 1927, The Spirit of St. Louis took off from Roosevelt Field, New York. Thirty-three and one-half hours later he landed near Paris, France. His average speed was a remarkable 107.5 miles per hour. His altitude varied from 10,000 feet to 10 feet above the water.
The solo Atlantic crossing had made Lindbergh wealthy and famous, but he didn't rest on these laurels. He continued to work to build the image of aviation. He made a spectacular tour by air of 75 American cities. One of these cities was St. Louis. There he was greeted by the members of his Masonic Lodge.
From the records of Keystone Lodge No. 243 comes the account of the "Lindbergh Night." It took place on February 15, 1928 and will long be remembered by those Freemasons who were not yet born. Those who were there passed along to those who came later the triumph of that evening.
More than 300 Masons were present, including Grand Master Anthony F. Ittner, when the Lodge opened at 7:30 P.M. Because it wasn't certain that Lindbergh could be present, the Master Mason Degree was conferred by "The Boosters," a highly acclaimed ritualistic team.
Charles Lindbergh did make it and was escorted into the Lodge. The Master warmly greeted this distinguished member, related with pride many of Lindbergh's accomplishments, and praised him for his service to his fellowman.
Soon after this reception, Lindbergh made an air tour of Central and South America. He must have been welcomed by Freemasons along the way, because Keystone Lodge received a letter from Lodge Libertad No. 20 of the Gran Logia de la Republica Dominicana dated April 10, 1928: "Dear Brothers: In this same mail we are sending a picture of the act of investing Brother CHARLES A. LINDBERGH, of that Lodge with the honor of Honorary Member of our Lodge Libertad No. 20.”
On May 27, 1929, Lindbergh married Anne Morrow. In an effort to protect their privacy, he built a home in Hopewell, New Jersey. It was from there that their 20-month-old son, Charles, was kidnaped and murdered in March, 1932. This event changed their lives. To what extent no one will ever know.
At the age of 72 he left this earth, but the accomplishments of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., Master Mason, aviator, scientist, husband and father will live on. Until next month, take care, God Bless and be safe!!!
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Trenton Cyrus #5 WM