Charles Lindbergh's visit to Rock Island Arsenal

Charles Lindbergh's visit to Rock Island Arsenal

Aviator Charles Lindbergh became an instant American superstar in 1927. That same year he flew into what was then the 'Tri–Cities' to a hero’s welcome.
Aviator Charles Lindbergh became an instant American superstar in 1927. That same year he flew into what was then the 'Tri–Cities' to a hero’s welcome. 

An unprecedented and courageous air flight landed Charles Lindbergh a place in history.

George Eaton, Army Sustainment Command Historian says, "Lindbergh was the first person to fly unassisted, solo across the Atlantic Ocean, so he flew in 1927, he flew from New Jersey to Paris, by himself, solo, straight shot."

That 38 hours of international air time also launched Lindbergh into a paid role as America's ambassador for passenger air travel.

"So for 3 months he flew across the United States landing wherever he could to get out and give a speech about commercial aviation," Eaton says.

So when Lindbergh landed at the Moline airfield in was a major moment for the masses.

Eaton says,"The newspaper accounts of the day of 19 August 1927, when he arrived the Mayors of Davenport, Rock Island, Moline, East Moline were all there."

Eaton says it was the Commander of the Rock Island Arsenal, Colonel King, who arranged Lindbergh's visit.
Clearly, it was a hit.

"A hundred thousand people came to his parade.  And they came from Galesburg.  They came from Macomb.  They came from Central Iowa.  The mayor of Des Moines was here," Eaton says.

Lindbergh would be here in the Tri–Cities only one night.

"The feeling I've gotten in the past is that there was a little bit of this (show him butting fists) over which city go to have Lindbergh stay in their town," says Eaton.

Since the Arsenal Commander was in charge of the visit, Quarters One, on Arsenal Island, would be the winner.

Eaton says, "He was 26 years old.  He was a young, young man at this time and he has this rock star following at this point in time and it does appear he was a very quiet guy, a very introspective guy."

After the parade, Eaton says Lindbergh rested at Quarters One then gave a speech that night at the Arsenal.

Now, even the bed he slept in is famous.

Eaton says, "The Lindbergh bed which is a gorgeous, gorgeous piece made by the Arsenal craftsmen is now in the Rock Island Arsenal Museum."

And then as quickly he flew in he took off in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis. One day, one stop, in the flight path of a legend.

Quarters One is no longer used a house, but as a site for social gatherings.  The room where he stayed is now called the Lindbergh Room.

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