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    "I believe we should explore the military possibilities of the rocket."

    Charles Lindbergh 1938 Typed Letter to Robert Goddard. Signed "Charles A. Lindbergh". Two pages, 8" x 10", Paris, December 15, 1938. Lindbergh writes this letter to Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the father of American rocketry, to make the first suggestion for the "military uses of the rocket." He also discusses Daniel Guggenheim's support of Dr. Goddard's work and Germany's rocket development.

    In this important letter, there are significant revelations. Lindbergh, at this early time, recognized the importance of the pioneering work of Goddard (it took decades of perspective for the rest of the world to appreciate that Goddard was truly the father of American rocketry). Lindbergh was prompting Guggenheim to take an interest in Goddard's pioneering research (Guggenheim gave major funding toward the effort). The letter reveals that Lindbergh was aware of secret rocket research going on in Europe, even though "Very little information is available about the rocket projects here in Europe. It is quite natural that they should be regarded as secret developments." He was cognizant of "the disturbances caused in everybody's plans by the current 'crisis'" and he was prescient with regard to the military application of rockets. Lindbergh wanted to share with the U.S. military any knowledge he might gain about the advances of European (German) activity, writing, "I should take this matter up with our own military people because I believe we should explore the military possibilities of the rocket."

    This single letter conveys a wealth of insight into the man who was an instant world hero when he flew across the Atlantic solo in his Spirit of St. Louis, only to have his shining image somewhat tarnished when it appeared that he was too friendly with Hitler. The implications in Lindbergh's letter are clearly that he wanted to know about developments in order to brief our nation's military. Throughout this letter, a whole new light is shed on Lindbergh's historical image. Very fine condition with original staple holes at upper left.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2011
    3rd Friday
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