“Lucky Lindy” worked hard to successfully cross the Atlantic

TOMS RIVER –  After a 33-hour nonstop flight that began in New York the morning of May 20, 1927 and successfully ended the following day in Paris, Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Others had tried the dangerous flight before Lindbergh’s attempt, several died in their attempt at fame and the $25,000 Orteig prize awaiting the successful aviator.

Being the first to cross the ocean in his “Spirit of St. Louis” made Lindbergh an instant and lifelong celebrity. It also earned him the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor.

Neill Hartley will present two performances of “The Spirit of Lindbergh,” a fully staged one-act play that will share insights of the planning that went into the flight. He will also discuss the changes Lindbergh made so that the Ryan monoplane had a sufficient amount of fuel and the plane would not be out of balance as it burned off the fuel.

It will become apparent during the play that his nickname, “Lucky Lindy,” was a misnomer. Lindbergh did not rely upon luck to get him across the ocean but spent hundreds of hours reengineering and redesigning the airplane.

Following the presentation Hartley will answer questions about Lindbergh, the flight, and the “Spirit of St. Louis.”

Hartley will present his play at two locations:

7 p.m. Monday Feb. 9 at the Brick branch, 301 Chambers Bridge Rd., telephone 732-477-4513

7 p.m. Monday Feb. 23 at the Long Beach Island branch, 217 S. Central Ave., telephone 609-494-2480.

The programs are free and open to the public but registration is required. To register telephone the branch or go to the library’s website www.theoceancountylibrary.org , click on the “Events & News” icon, then click on “Calendar of Events.”

Neill Hartley is a professional actor who has performed with many local and regional theaters. He is on the theater faculty of the University of Arts in Philadelphia, Pa.

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