Stories like this are great. We forget that the men and women we read about in history books and Wikipedia were also normal people just like us — okay, most of them accomplished great things that we likely won’t be able to. The following is a special piece we found in the New York Times from August 13th, 1929. America was still a few months away from falling off the financial cliff into the ravine of the Great Depression.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 12.–Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh returned from President Hoover‘s Summer camp at the headwaters of the Rapidan River in Virginia today acclaimed as the horseshoe champion of the group of friends whom Mr. and Mrs. Hoover entertained in the country over the week-end. Colonel Lindbergh denied that he had had any preliminary practice or that he had indulged the sport in recent years.
Secretary of Agriculture Hyde captured second honors and Herbert Hoover Jr. and Lieut. Commander Joel T. Boone, the White House physician, were tied for third place, according to the gossip this morning after the return of the Presidential party to the city.
President Hoover himself did not play, but stood on the sidelines and encourage all concerned without exhibiting any partiality. Some of the players attributed their ill luck to the fatigue that overcame them as a result of the hard work they were required to do in collecting boulders and other material for the dam which the President is building near the camp.
Colonel Lindbergh showed his skill as an automobile driver today on the trip from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Taking the chauffeur’s seat in one of the White House cars, he left camp twenty minutes after the main party had departed, but arrived at the White House twenty minutes ahead of it.
Mrs. Lindbergh and Herbert Hoover Jr. rode with the Colonel. Colonel Lindbergh managed to arrive ahead of the main party by taking a road on which their is little traffic in the early hours. The President and the members of the party traveling with him left camp this morning a little before 8 o’clock and reached the White House about 8:40.
I don’t know how he did that, or if that’s inaccurate, because the drive is almost 100 miles and to do that in 40 minutes means he was going around 150 miles per hour. I highly doubt that. I think the reporter mistook the quote and he likely arrived an hour or so after the stated time.
- Lindbergh and Wife Land in D.C. Just Prior to Crash (ghostsofdc.org)
- The Inauguration of Herbert Hoover in 1929 (ghostsofdc.org)
- Why Is It Named Constitution Avenue? (ghostsofdc.org)