How Lindbergh Drive became Skillman Street

Today is the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. In light of that, I wanted to share this story about our neighborhood.

In 1927, the nation was enamored of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, who in May of that year flew nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. The flight made Lindbergh an international celebrity. New York City threw him a ticker-tape parade. The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp bearing the image of his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis. As a result, airmail and aviation generally got a boost.

The same year as Lindbergh’s flight to Paris, Dallas City Council voted to rename a stretch of Skillman Street to Lindbergh Drive. Back then, Lindbergh Drive was an unpaved road from Swiss Avenue to Mockingbird Lane.

Lindbergh visited Germany and toured the Luftwaffe during the ’30s, and he passed along what he learned to the U.S. government before World War II began.

But in 1940, he became the spokesman for the America First Committee, an antiwar group. He argued that the United States should not be involved in the war with Germany. Lindbergh was suspected of being a Nazi sympathizer because of his racist views and his visits to Germany.

Lindbergh, center, with Edsel and Henry Ford. Dallasites disliked Lindbergh, not because he was racist, but because of his anti-war stance and suspected Nazi sympathy.

After the Pearl Harbor attack, Lindbergh changed his antiwar stance. Although he was unable to serve in active duty, he served as an aviation adviser to the U.S. military. That came too late for the general sentiments of Dallasites.

The Dallas City Council voted to change the name of Lindbergh Drive to Skillman Street on Dec. 3, 1941, after the street was paved and had become a thoroughfare with a bus route.

“Disapproval of (Lindberg’s) recent position on international affairs led to the latest action,” the Dallas Morning News reported at the time.

By Dec. 5, 1941, all the street signs had been changed to Skillman.

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By |2011-12-07T08:36:31-05:00December 7th, 2011|History, News|18 Comments

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Rachel Stone
RACHEL STONE is the Oak Cliff editor. Email or follow