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You are here: Home | Noninterventionist & America First Committee

Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh speaking at an American First Rally
(Picture supplied by Joseph Morabito)
Charles Lindbergh's Noninterventionist Efforts & America First Committee Involvement

The following information is offered as a resource to understand Charles Lindbergh's involvement within the Noninterventionist movement and America First Committee prior to the start of World War II. This site does not support the content of some of the information below, however, the goal of this web site is to offer a perspective of available information to make your own judgment. Please feel free to submit additional information and pictures for this page to webmaster@charleslindbergh.com.

The owner/developer of this site would like to thank Joseph Morabito for supplying files, images, and Lindbergh American First/Nonintervention information for this page.

Charles Lindbergh provided Americans with a portrait of the European war that differed substantially from the one conceived by the Roosevelt administration...

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Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh speaking at an America First Rally in Indiana
* Drawing on his experiences and observations during four or five years abroad (1935-1939) in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, Charles Lindbergh provided Americans with a portrait of the European war that differed substantially from the one conceived by the Roosevelt administration and by so-called interventionists in the United States. He did not see the conflict as basically a war for democracy or morality. He was skeptical of the ideology and moral righteousness of the British and French. He conceived of morality in international affairs as relative to time, place, circumstances, and power. His approach was, in effect, more understanding of the Germans (without approving of what they did) and more skeptical of the Allies than the conventional view in the United States. Lindbergh saw a divided responsibility for the origins of the European war, rather than an assignment of the total blame to Hitler, Nazi Germany, and the Axis states. He did not view Germany, Britian, and France as implacable foes with irreconcilable differences that could be resolved only by war; he saw them all as parts of Western civilization. And he conceived of the European war as a fratricdal struggle (like the wars between Athens and Sparta in ancient Greece) that could destroy Western civilization. Conceptions of race were conspicuous in his analyses, as were his concerns about the challenge of Asiatic hordes to the survival of Western civilization. Like later American "realists," Colonel Lindbergh attached great weight to the role of power in international relations and in prevailing definitions of morality.

* Source: Wayne S. Cole's, Charles A. Lindbergh and the Battle Against American Intervention in World War II
Charles Lindbergh
Charles A. Lindbergh and the Battle Against American Intervention in World War II

Recommended Book by Wayne S. Cole

If you're interested in a detailed account of Charles Lindbergh's noninterventionist efforts, please read the book, "Charles A. Lindbergh and the Battle Against American Intervention in World War II" by Wayne S. Cole. Although the book is out of print, it can often be found on the used book area of Amazon.com. Search for used books >>

America First Committee Overview

America First Committee, founded in September 1940, was the most powerful isolationist group in America before the United States entered World War II. It had over 800,000 members, who wanted to keep America neutral. It tried to influence public opinion through publications and speeches. America First disagreed with another powerful group, the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies.
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America First Committee American First Committee Poster
Both groups wanted to build American defenses and keep America out of the war. But the Committee to Defend America argued that the best way to remain neutral was to aid Britain. America First thought it more important to stay out of the war than to assure a British victory. America First was dissolved four days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

America First Committee Original Four Principles:

  1. The United States must build an impregnable defense for America
  2. No foreign power, nor group of powers, can successfully attack a prepared America
  3. American democracy can be preserved only by keeping out of the European war.
  4. "Aid short of war" weakens national defense at home and threatens to involve America in war abroad.

Proposed Activities- September 5, 1940:

  1. To bring together all Americans, regardless of possible differences on other matters, who see eye-to-eye on these principles. (This does not include Nazists [sic], Fascists, Communists, or members of other groups that place the interest of any other nation above those of our own country.)
  2. To urge Americans to keep their heads amid rising hysteria of times of crisis.
  3. To provide sane national leadership for the majority of the American people who want to keep out of the European war.
  4. To register this opinion with the President and with Congress.
American First Logo

American First Logo

Download Radio Addresses of Col. Charles A. Lindbergh

Adobe Acrobat Reader must be installed to view and print the following PDF file.

Lindbergh America First Committee speeches on non-intervention in 1941

Lindbergh & the America First Committee

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Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh speaking at an American First Rally
"If any one of these groups--the British, the Jewish, or the administration--stops agitating for war, I believe there will be little danger of our involvement."
           Charles Lindbergh- September 11, 1941

On September 11, 1941, Charles Lindbergh appeared in Des Moines, Iowa, to speak on behalf of the isolationist America First Committee. The famous aviator criticized the groups he perceived were leading America into war for acting against the country's interests. He expressed doubt that the U.S. military would achieve victory in a war against Germany, which he said had "armies stronger than our own." The Des Moines speech was met with outrage in many quarters, and Lindbergh was denounced as an anti-Semite. In his hometown of Little Falls, Minnesota, his name was even removed from the town's water tower.

Six years earlier, Lindbergh had moved to England with his wife to escape the publicity surrounding the kidnapping and murder of their infant son. In 1936, he inspected Germany's military aviation program on behalf of the U.S. government, and in August attended the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin as a guests of Nazi Hermann Goering, the head of the Luftwaffe. Impressed by German industry and society under Adolf Hitler, the Lindberghs considered moving to Berlin.

In 1938, Goering presented Lindbergh with the Service Cross of the German Eagle for his contributions to aviation. Returning to America in 1939, Lindbergh became an advocate of American isolationism, but was criticized for his Nazi sympathies and anti-Semitic beliefs.

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and debate over U.S. war policy came to an end. Lindbergh, who had resigned his military commission in 1939, asked to be reinstated, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt refused. The middle-aged Lindbergh later made it to the Pacific as an observer, and eventually ended up flying over two dozen combat missions, including one in which he downed a Japanese aircraft.

Download Brochures & Articles that criticized Lindbergh's American Isolationism Views and Statements

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Charles Lindbergh
The following brochure was created by the Friends of Democracy, Inc. in 1941. The brochure was titled, "Is Lindbergh a Nazi". The brochure has been converted to a PDF file format. Adobe Acrobat Reader must be installed to view and print the following PDF file.

An article titled, "$10,000 to Combat Lindbergh is Sought From Movie Unit of Friends for Democracy" appeared in the NY times. (date unknown.) Additional New York Times articles about Lindbergh's noninterventionist activities.

Audio clip of Lindbergh on non-intervention in 1941

Audio Clip About Lindbergh & the American First Movement

Author A. Scott Berg talks with Terry Gross, Fresh Air, about the Lindbergh and his American First activities-

Related Clips

Pearl Harbor Under Attack- Broadcast:

FDR-Franklin Delano Roosevelt Declaration of War full broadcast from Dec 8, 1941:

Download Student Essay

Title: Developing for Peace: An Analysis of Charles A. Lindbergh's Views on American Foreign Policy
Author: Adam Jantunen
Email: adamjantunen@canada.com
Written for HIS 4140: Seminar in Diplomatic History: The American Quest for a World Order from Thomas Paine to Ronald Reagan. University of Ottawa, Canada

Additional Images

Click to enlarge the following images.


New York Daily PM Newspaper-September 15,1941

War's First Casualty Poster

A ticket from an
America First rally.

Will Lindbergh run
for Senate ad.

Cartoon showing Lindbergh
receiving a Nazi medal

AFC Brochure-Side 1

America First Brochure-Side 2

America First Membership Certificate-Side 1

America First Membership Certificate-Side 2

America First Membership Certificate-Principles

Poster for Lindbergh's final America First address—Scheduled for December 12, 1941