Posted on 05 January 2021


Charles Lindbergh receives his medal from President Calvin Coolidge.


Orville Wright attends the National Geographic Society’s ceremonies in Washington, D.C., in which the society’s Hubbard Gold Medal is presented to Charles Lindbergh. The Hubbard Medal, National Geographic’s highest honor, recognizes lifetime achievement in research, discovery and exploration. Lindbergh received the medal for his epochal 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic from New York to Paris that forever proved the airplane’s global influence.
Charles Lindbergh and Orville Wright enjoyed a close friendship and admiration of each other. When Lindbergh returned to America after his famous transatlantic flight, he was committed to attend ceremonies in Washington, New York and St. Louis. After he fulfilled these commitments, his next stop was to visit Orville in Dayton, Ohio, to pay his respects to the surviving inventor of the airplane.

Lindbergh also demonstrated his profound admiration for the Wrights by his agreement to move his famous monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, to make room in the Smithsonian for the arrival of the 1903 Wright Flyer when the Flyer was finally returned to the U.S. from the London Science Museum in 1948.

“In honoring the Wright brothers, it is customary and proper to recognize their contribution to scientific progress. But I believe it is equally important to emphasize the qualities in their pioneering life and the character in man that such a life produced. The Wright brothers balanced success with modesty, science with simplicity. At Kitty Hawk their intellects and senses worked in mutual support. They represented man in balance, and from that balance came wings to lift a world.”

—Charles Lindbergh

During Lindbergh's visit with Orville at Hawthorn Hill a crowd gathered on the lawn outside to sneak a peak at the famous aviator. Lindbergh briefly stepped out onto a balcony to greet the crowd. The only known photograph of the event, taken by William Preston Mayfield, captures the crowd waving toward the balcony. But the angle the photo is taken from does not reveal Lindbergh himself.

More Posts


The Wright Brothers® is dedicated to inspiring and empowering people to learn, explore, and chase their dreams. Exclusively authorized by The Wright Brothers Family Foundation, we are the official source for licensed products, merchandise, and information.


Search our store