Lindbergh, Collie, and Me

Lost and Found Sound: The Day the Flier Landed

Alexadra "Xandra" Kalman in profile wearing a string of pearls, circa 1925

hide captionAlexandra "Xandra" Kalman circa 1925. Witness to Charles Lindbergh's historic landing in Paris May 21, 1927.

Produced by Jay Allison.

On the night of May 21, 1927, Charles Augustus Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris. He'd taken off from Roosevelt Field in New York 33 hours and 30 minutes before, with only a few sandwiches to keep him going. Lindbergh flew through clouds, storms and ice, fighting off sleep as he crossed the Atlantic in the single engine monoplane. He named his plane The Spirit of St. Louis, in honor of the group of St. Louis businessmen who'd financed him to compete for the $25,000 prize offered to the first person to fly nonstop from New York to Paris.

He became an international hero as he stepped on the field to a cheering crowd of 100,000 that night outside Paris. Joining the throngs gathered at Le Bourget to greet him was an excited young woman from Minnesota named Xandra Kalman, vacationing in Paris with her husband. Years later, she recorded her reminiscences of that historic day, which her step-grandson, Mark Orton of Stony Brook, New York, offered to our Quest for Sound project, as part of our Lost and Found Sound series.



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