This Week in History: 4/29/19-5/3/19

On May 1, 1942, the movie “Citizen Kane” premiered for the first time. “Citizen Kane” follows the story of newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane as investigators try to figure out the meaning to his enigmatic last word, “Rosebud.” (Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)

This week in history, we will see the anniversary of several important events that helped shape the world we live in. Here is a quick rundown:

On April 29, 1927, construction of the plane the Spirit of St. Louis was completed. Overseen and flown by famous American pilot Charles Lindbergh, the Spirit of St. Louis was the plane of choice for his most impressive achievement, the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in one continuous flight. While not the first transatlantic flight, it was the first completed by a solo pilot nonstop and took place between Long Island and Paris. This feat catapulted Lindbergh to international stardom and he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his efforts. After becoming one of the most famous men in the world, tragedy struck the family when Lindbergh’s baby son was abducted in 1932 from the family home and later found dead in the woods. The massive loss and media coverage drove the family into seclusion in Europe until they returned to America in 1939. During World War II, Lindbergh worked as an aviation consultant in the Pacific Theater, and his monumental life came to an end in 1974. Charles Lindbergh went down in history as one of the most important people of the 20th century, and the Spirit of St. Louis now hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

On May 1, 1942, the movie “Citizen Kane” premiered for the first time. “Citizen Kane” follows the story of newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane as investigators try to figure out the meaning to his enigmatic last word, “Rosebud.” Legendary Hollywood icon Orson Welles directed and starred in this American classic. Originally a commercial failure, the film went on to be nominated for nine Oscars and is today considered to be the greatest movies ever made.

On May 2, 1939, Lou Gehrig voluntarily took himself out a game, ending his incredible streak at 2,130 consecutive games played. The next game he didn’t start at first base, and he sadly never played again. Gehrig was born in New York in 1903, and was signed to the New York Yankees in 1923. He got his start in 1925 when he replaced star first baseman Wally Pipp, and he played every game for the next 13 years. “The Iron Horse” started to show signs of aging in his later seasons until doctors diagnosed him with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known today by its acronym ALS or by the name Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Over the course of his career, Gehrig racked up numerous awards, including Most Valuable League Player, led the league in hits, and won six World Series. Playing with the likes of Babe Ruth, Earle Combs, and Tony Lazzeri, Gehrig was a critical member of the 1927 Yankees, considered by many to be the greatest team ever fielded in the history of Major League Baseball. On July 4, 1939, Yankee Stadium hosted Lou Gehrig Day. In front of thousands of fans and his team, a sick and shaking Gehrig thanked his friends and family and said, “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Lou Gehrig passed away on June 2, 1941.


Seamus McKeever is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at seamus.mckeever@uconn.edu.