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Headlines from History

Crime of the Century

Le Jardin
Thursday, September 29
7:00pm – 8:00pm CDT

Free in-person program!
Can’t attend in person? Register to attend the lecture virtually below.

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On May 21st, 1927, a single engine plane landed at Le Bourget airport just outside of Paris. Charles Augustus Lindbergh stepped out to greet 150,000 people as he had just been the first pilot to complete a transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. Charles Lindbergh became an instant celebrity. In 1929, Charles married Anne Morrow, the daughter of Dwight Morrow, the American ambassador to Mexico. Their first child, Charles Jr, was born on Anne’s 24th birthday, June 22, 1930.

On March 1st, 1932, Charlie Jr. went missing from his crib at the Lindbergh’s home in Hopewell, New Jersey. After intense negotiation with the kidnapper, Charlie Jr. was never returned to his parents. On May 12th, the badly decomposed body of a child was discovered four miles away from the Hopewell Estate. Charles Lindbergh positively identified the body of his son and it had been determined that Charlie Jr. likely died the night he was taken. The FBI arrested Bruno Richard Hauptmann on September 19th, 1933 and charged with the murder. “The Trial of the Century” began on January 2nd, 1935, in Flemington, New Jersey. After five weeks of testimony and eleven hours of jury deliberation, Hauptmann was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On April 3rd, 1936, Hauptmann was put to death by the electric chair.

The kidnapping of Charlie Jr is the most notorious case of the 20th century. Today, there is still a public fascination with the case that has led to multiple books, movies, documentaries, and a wide spectrum of conspiracy theories. We recognize the conspiracy theories as having a huge impact on the way the case is studied today. Criminologists, historians, and true crime fans have all investigated the kidnapping and have published their perspective. What we are presenting today is a presentation of the research we have conducted at the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum, and the conclusions we have come to based on the study of both secondary and primary sources connected to the case.

MEET THE SPEAKER: LACEY FONTAINE joined the Minnesota Historical Society in the summer of 2021 at the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum as a Program Assistant. Lacey is a graduate student at St. Cloud State University where she mainly studies the historiography of white supremacist movements and how they impact the United States today. When she’s not studying or writing programs, Lacey loves to spend her time with her partner, Cole and their daughter Isla. Lacey also enjoys her outdoors, hiking every national park she can and visiting local breweries.


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Questions? Please contact: ccorrigan@fdmuseum.org

  This program includes built-in closed captioning through Zoom.