The country and our city has taken action in the past few years to change names on schools, like Lee and Stonewall in East Dallas or Lake Highlands feeder Bowie elementary, that bear the names of problematic figures. Back in the WWII era, the City of Dallas and its citizens moved pretty quickly to change Lindbergh Street to Skillman after aviator Charles Lindbergh gave people cause to believe he was a Nazi sympathizer.
For 14 years, nine miles we now know as Skillman was Lindbergh Drive, according to an ebook called This Used to be Dallas by Harry Hall.
It was 95 years ago this month. On September 27, 1927 Dallas and Love Field was one of Charles Lindbergh’s stops on a 90+ city tour to promote all things flying. He’d recently become famous for flying his Ryan mono plane Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic. Thousands lined the Dallas streets as Lindbergh enjoyed our city’s first ticker-tape parade and a gala in his honor thrown by local politicians and celebrities. That’s when the street, from Mockingbird south, was baptized Lindbergh.
But in the late 1930s Lindbergh got a little too cozy with the Germans. As a spokesman for the America First Committee, he made several statements that seemed supportive of Germany. He took several trips to Germany and made remarks that were interpreted by many as anti Semitic, according to Hall. Dallas City Council on December 3 voted to change Lindbergh to Skillman, after banker W.F. Skillman. Dallas made those changes quickly, and every street topper read Skillman by December 5, 1941.
Two days later the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
Lindbergh became even more famous later in his life for a tragic reason — the kidnapping and death of his child, Charles Jr.