Day in History 1 March – Charles Lindbergh, Jr.

On this day in 1932, the 20 month old son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was kidnapped and murdered in Hopewell, New Jersey.  Born on 22 June 1930 in Englewood Bergen, New Jersey.  In what came to be referred to as “The Crime of the Century”, the boy was abducted from his family home in East Amwell, New Jersey, near the town of Hopewell, New Jersey, on the evening of 1 March 1932.  His body was discovered a short distance from the Lindberghs’ home on 12 May 1932.  A medical examination determined that the cause of death was a massive skull fracture.  After an investigation that lasted more than two years and was ostensibly run by New Jersey State Police superintendent Colonel Herbert Norman Swarzkopf, the father of the future General H. Norman Swarzkopf, Jr., Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested and charged with the crime.  Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death.  He was executed by electric chair at the New Jersey State Prison on 3 April 1936, at 8:44 in the evening.  Hauptmann proclaimed his innocence to the end.  Newspaper writer H. L. Mencken called the kidnapping and subsequent trial “the biggest story since the Resurrection”.  The crime spurred Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, commonly called the “Lindbergh Law”, which made transporting a kidnapping victim across state lines a federal crime.  The Final Footprint – Lindbergh was cremated and his cremains were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean.

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