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Prepared by Dyani Scheuerman and Rhonda Rinehart, 2004; Last Updated: March 2021
Inclusive Dates: 1927-1992
Extent: 3 cubic feet (1 record storage box, 2 oversize boxes)
Physical Location: 11th floor
Historical Note: On May 20, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh became a famous figure in American history when he made the first solo trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris. Five years later, on March 1, 1932, he again became the object of much media attention when his 20-month-old son, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. was kidnapped from his nursery. The events that followed the kidnapping, including the search for the young Lindbergh boy, negotiations with the kidnappers, discovery of the child's decomposed body, and the trial of the kidnap and murder suspect Richard Bruno Hauptmann, culminated into a complex and puzzling case involving numerous people. The case's popularity led to the "Lindbergh Law," which defined the crime of kidnapping to be a federal offense punishable by death. The case itself was unanimously considered an open and shut one, which led to Hauptmann's execution for the kidnapping and murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. on April 3, 1936. However, nearly 80 years later, many questions surround this case and "the trial of the century," including Hauptmann's guilt.
Scope and Content: This collection, donated by Albert and Helen Borowitz, contains photographs, clippings, posters, and other documents related to the Lindbergh kidnapping and subsequent trial of Richard Bruno Hauptmann. A large portion of this collection includes press photographs and newspaper clippings, which give a telling glimpse into the ethos and pathos of 1930s media, and its direct influences on events surrounding the Lindbergh case. Many of these photographs, complete with detailed captions, were used in various newspaper publications during the years of the kidnap and trial. Five distinct time periods are well-represented by this collection, and include the Lindbergh family before the kidnapping took place, the kidnapping itself, the time frame during the search for the child, the investigation, and the courtroom trial of Hauptmann. The complete FBI file report about the case is also present in this collection as well as "Reward" and "Wanted" posters circulated during the case. In addition, a pamphlet satirizing a fictional kidnapping paralleling the Lindbergh case and mailed to the Hauptmann jury prior to the trial, is an important item in the collection.
Related Material: Evidential and press photographs taken during the investigation are present in a separately-acquired collection, entitled Lindbergh Kidnapping Photographs, 1931-1932. Special Collections and Archives also holds several books about the Lindbergh case, which are cataloged in KentLINK.
Restrictions on Use: Kent State University does not own copyright to the photographs in this collection. Permission must be obtained from copyright holder(s) for duplication.
Box 1: Photographs, Clippings, and Other Materials
Folder -- Contents
Newspaper clippings about Lindbergh family and kidnapping case (most date from 1930s)
Processing Note: Photocopies of clippings are in front of folder with original newspaper clippings filed behind.
Ephemera and articles about Lindbergh case
91A. "What Led to the Lindbergh Kidnapping," by the West Virginia Anti-Saloon League; James F. Fulbright, undated but likely 1932. [Argues that increased crime and not Prohibition led to Lindbergh kidnapping.]
Acquisitions Note: Purchased for the Borowitz Collection, 2018.
Sheet Music about Lindbergh Family
Box 2: Oversized Items
Folder -- Contents
Box 3: FBI Summary Report