From the Pen of Schenectady County Historian Ed Reilly: Roosevelt – Lindberg Animosity

In my conclusion to a recent article, I said that the animosity between President Franklyn Roosevelt and noted aviator Charles Lindberg was “a story for another day.” Today, a special anniversary in U.S. History, will do just fine.

The first time the two failed to see eye to eye was not serious, consisting only of Roosevelt’s edict that U.S. mail should be flown and delivered only by planes owned by the U.S. Post Office. Lindberg, of course, wanted it carried by chartered private planes such as he owned. The far more serious disagreement was that Lindberg strongly opposed Roosevelt s decision to intervene in the war being waged by the Axis Powers. That attitude cost Lindberg much public admiration and support. But in the closing days of WWII, Lindberg fought valiantly against the Axis as the U.S. Air Force Officer that he became.

Another matter not mentioned in the earlier article was the well-known tragedy was the home invasion, abduction, and murder of the Lindbergs’ first child. That event, concluding with the capture, conviction, and execution of the murderer, is well documented across the Web and in the many Lindberg biographies.

For the heart of today’s article, I switch back to the anguish of the nine-year old Trojan, myself, who was concerned that American forces were not retaliating quickly enough to the Pearl Harbor attack. My erroneous recollection was that the famous Jimmy Doolittle attack on Japan had happened in February, a month after Pearl Harbor. When I checked, however, the counterattack took place on April 18 1942, more than four months after the attack on our airbase, a seeming eternity to a nine-year old Troy Record reader. My consolation is that today is April 18 as I write, an important anniversary in U.S. History.