‘The Plot Against America’ on HBO: Who Was the Real Charles Lindbergh? – Decider

Posted By on March 18, 2020

HBOs The Plot Against America takes place in an alternate history where Charles Lindbergh ran for President in 1940, and won. We see how Lindberghs rise to power affects history through the eyes of one Jewish family, the Levins from Newark, New Jersey. Instead of supporting the Allies in World War II, Lindberghs government favors the Nazis. And because Lindbergh himself is an anti-semite, he gives others in the country the free rein to lash out against their Jewish neighbors.

Thats the basic concept behind David Simons The Plot Against America, but who was the real Charles Lindbergh? Was he a fascist? Was he a hero? And did he really run for President of the United States against Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940? Heres everything you need to know about the real Charles Lindbergh.

Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born in Detroit in 1902. He is most famous for winning the Orteig Prize, an honor promised to the first pilot who could make a transatlantic flight from New York City to Paris, or the reverse. Many pilots attempted the challenge, but Lindbergh was the first one to complete it in 1927. He also flew solo, which meant he had to be alert for the 30+ hour flight. Lindbergh accomplished this feat in a single engined aircraft called The Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh became an international hero and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

In 1932, Lindbergh made headlines again, but for an awful reason: his 20-month-old son was kidnapped from his cradle. The Lindberghs paid a $50,000 cash ransom for the baby, but the child was still murdered. His remains were found not far from the familys home. The Lindbergh babys kidnapping and murder were called the Crime of the Century. The trial that ensued became a media circus, and Lindbergh, and his wife, Anne Morrow, left the States and lived in Europe for a few years.

In The Plot Against America, Lindberghs background is much the same. However, HBOs series suggests that upon returning from a self-imposed exile in Europe in 1939, the Nazi-sympathizing Lindbergh (played by Ben Cole) decided to run for President against FDR.

Privately, Lindbergh expressed anti-semitism in his diaries and reportedly waffled on moving into a house in Berlin because Nazi friends told him it had been previously owned by Jews. He supported the America First Committee, and even FDR himself suspected Lindbergh of being pro-Nazi.

If Charles Lindbergh had run for President in 1940, and if he had beaten FDR in real life, there is no doubt that his politics would have had disastrous repercussions for the Jewish population in America and the outcome of World War II.

Where to stream The Plot Against America

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'The Plot Against America' on HBO: Who Was the Real Charles Lindbergh? - Decider

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