Charles Lindbergh Crash Site #1
Charles Lindbergh was nicknamed "Lucky Lindy" for a reason; no other pilot in his era had jumped out of as many crashing planes -- four -- and lived. His first two crashes were at airports (Kelly Field in Texas and Lambert Field in Missouri). His last two happened within two months and 100 miles of each other, over farm fields in Illinois, when Lindbergh was an air mail pilot. Both events have been commemorated with roadside markers. Lots of air mail pilots crashed, but Lindbergh was the only one famous enough to merit memorials -- and he didn't even die.
Lindbergh's first crash occurred over the tiny hamlet of Sulphur Springs, Illinois, on the night of September 16, 1926. It wasn't Lindy's fault; he had been trying to land in Chicago but the fog was too thick. He then decided to return to St. Louis, but unknown to him a mechanic had replaced his plane's 110-gallon gas tank with one that held only 80 gallons. Lindbergh ran out of fuel midway, and bailed out. Floating to earth in his parachute, he barely escaped being cut to ribbons, over and over, by the still-spinning propeller of the plane as it spiraled to the ground.
It took a while, but on the 75th anniversary of the crash, the folks at the La Salle County Historical Society unveiled an impressive granite slab at the site. This joined a marker already in place at Lindbergh's other Illinois crash site, near the town of Covell.