In the middle of the night, kidnappers climb a ladder to the second-story of the home of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, abduct his son, and leave a ransom note demanding $50,000. The nationwide search goes on for months and the story dominates the headlines. Dubbed in the press as "the crime of the century." Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
|March 1, 1932||20-month-old son of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh kidnapped from the 2nd floor nursery of the family home near Hopewell, NJ. Ransom note left behind.|
|March 6, 1932||Second ransom note received postmarked from Brooklyn, NY.|
|March 12, 1932||Dr. John F. Condon meets with kidnapper John about ransom money.|
|March 16, 1932||Condon receives sleeping suit from kidnappers.|
|April 2, 1932||11th and 12th ransom note received, Condon pays John's ransom.|
|April 3, 1932||Failed search for baby in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.|
|May 12, 1932||Remains of the Lindbergh baby found near home.|
|May 26, 1932||New Jersey police issue a $25,000 reward for information.|
|October 19, 1933||FBI gains jurisdiction over the case.|
|August 20, 1934||More ransom gold notes found, lead police to Hauptmann.|
|September 19, 1934||Hauptmann is arrested.|
|September 20, 1934||Police find $13,000 of ransom money at Hauptmann's residence.|
|September 26, 1934||Hauptmann is indicted for extortion.|
|October 8, 1934||Hauptmann is indicted for murder of Lindbergh baby.|
|January 3, 1935||Hauptmann's trial begins in New Jersey.|
|February 13, 1935||Jury rules Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder.|
|April 3, 1936||Hauptmann is electrocuted for his crime.|