The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping

Nazi-sympathizing, anti-Black and antisemitic Charles Lindbergh (see photo below):

Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) the spokesperson for the America First Committee (AFC) giving the Nazi arm salute during a rally on October 30, 1941 (Irving Haberman/IH Images/Getty Images)

Has an interesting link to Harlem, and East Harlem’s Corn Exchange building in particular.

On March 1st, 1932, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the 20-month-old son of the famous aviator and racist was kidnapped from the nursery on the second floor of the Lindbergh home near Hopewell, New Jersey. The child’s absence was discovered and reported to his parents, who were then at home, by the child’s nurse. A search of the premises was immediately made and a ransom note demanding $50,000 was found on the nursery window sill.

After extensive back and forth negotiations between the Lindbergh’s and the authorities, and the kidnapper, a ransom of cash and gold certificates was paid – $50,000.

Two years later, on August 20, 1934, and extending into September, a total of 16 gold certificates were discovered have been cashed – most of them in the vicinity of Yorkville and Harlem. Bank employees nearby were notified to immediately inform the FBI or police if any similar gold certificate turned up.

This gas can was found in the garage of Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Gold certificates hidden inside the gas can tied Hauptmann to the Lindbergh kidnapping.

About 1:20 p.m. on September 18, 1934, the assistant manager of the Corn Exchange Bank and Trust Company, at 125th Street and Park Avenue, New York City, telephoned the New York City Bureau Office to advise that a $10 gold certificate had been discovered a few minutes previously by one of the tellers in that bank. It was soon ascertained that this bill had been received at the bank from a gasoline station located at 127th Street and Lexington Avenue, New York City. On September 15, 1934, an alert attendant had received a bill in payment for five gallons of gasoline from a man whose description fitted closely that of the individual who had passed other bills in recent weeks. The filling station attendant, being suspicious of the $10 gold certificate, recorded on the bill the license number of the automobile driven by the purchaser. This license number was issued to Bruno Richard Hauptmann, 1279 East 222nd Street, Bronx, New York.

A painstaking analysis of Hauptmann’s handwriting by the Bureau’s new crime lab showed a remarkable similarity between the lettering of the author of the ransom notes and of Hauptmann.

Hauptmann was arrested on September 26, 1932, and then on February 13, 1935, a jury returned a guilty verdict of murder in the first degree. On April 3, 1936, at 8:47 p.m., Bruno Richard Hauptmann was electrocuted. 

To read the full story (with – interestingly – no mention of the Lindbergh Nazi connection…) see:

East Harlem Proton Center Serves 3,000 Patients has a story on how East Harlem’s proton center has now served over 3,000 patients.

To read more about what the proton center is/does, see: