Charles Lindbergh Key to the City Award in Honor of his First Solo Transatlantic Flight
Stamped metal presentation key to the city of Kansas City, Missouri with enameled design at head and stylized "KC" city initials teeth (.75 x 4 in.; 19 x 25 mm.). Threaded on a red, white, and blue silk ribbon. Attributed as awarded to Charles Lindbergh in honor of his historic first solo transatlantic flight. Accompanied by a display bust of the young aviator, (17 x 20.25 x 10.25 in.; 432 x 514 x 260 mm.).
This key was most likely presented to Lindbergh upon his visit to Kansas City on August 17, 1927. Less than three months after his historic solo flight from New York to Paris, Lindbergh landed his famous “Spirit of St. Louis” aircraft in Kansas City. The occasion—the dedication of Kansas City’s newest airport.
Kansas City's first airport, Kellerstrass Airfield, founded by Albert C. Reed, began operation in 1917 on the Ernest Kellerstrass farm (87th and Holmes Road). Richards Field in Raytown, known as the first commercial airport for Kansas City, was established in 1922. When in 1926 the need for a more ample airfield became apparent, the Chamber of Commerce spearheaded the effort to purchase the land just northeast of the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers for the new airport. It became known as Municipal Airport and is now called Wheeler Downtown Airport.
In a short ceremony on the airfield that August, Lindbergh addressed the crowd and dedicated Municipal Airport. A parade through town followed. Police had to stop parade vehicles at various points and clear a path through the "surging crowd." Later that evening during a speech made at the Hotel President, Lindbergh repeated many of his remarks made during the dedication.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.