Your whole life you've been taught the importance of coming in first. Whether you're the first to make a great discovery, the first to hit the finish line or the first to produce vegetable-based pornography, it's all a big deal. After all, how would you like it if Rumpshaka43 got the credit for commenting on this article first, when it was really Lord_Dildonator all along? Exactly.
So let's take a moment to point out that ...
6Lindbergh Didn't Make the First Transatlantic Flight
Very few individual achievements have been as celebrated as Charles Lindbergh's crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. In fact, when he landed in Paris, the French went le apeshit. Lindbergh couldn't even get out of the cockpit before an estimated crowd of over 100,000 Frenchmen stormed his landing site, grabbed him and carried him above their heads like a human umbrella ... for half a goddamn hour.
"The first 10 minutes were celebration. The last 20 were molestation."
It's easy now to forget how exciting the accomplishment really was. Maybe if we could all take a cross-Atlantic trip in the steamy pits of an overcrowded, rat and TB-infested ship, we'd get a better understanding of Lindy fever.
Except That ...
Two British pilots had already crossed the Atlantic. And they did it eight years earlier.
Sometimes upside down!
In 1919, British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown laughed in the face of gravity by flying from Newfoundland to Ireland in an exhausting 16 hours. When they got back to their native England, they were given the royal treatment -- literally. King George V knighted the two men, and they were awarded a nice cash prize by none other than Winston Churchill. Hey, it's no half hour of crowd surfing, but we can't all land in France.
Some of us apparently can't even land in Ireland.
So why do we not know about either of these guys? Well, Alcock and Brown were HUGE celebrities ... in Britain. But in America, they contracted what has later become known as "soccer syndrome," meaning the United States just didn't give a shit. It wasn't until American Charles Lindbergh made the New York to Paris flight (in order to win 25,000 clams) that anyone on this side of the pond cared. And it didn't hurt that Lucky Lindy looked like he was dripping with Handsome Sauce:
This is why Americans are action heroes and British men are disfigured villains.
Just a photo op with Lindy sent the press into orgasmic ecstasy. In fact, when Lindbergh was awarded the Medal of Honor in the U.S., the inscription read that he "demonstrated that travel across the ocean by aircraft was possible," completely ignoring the achievements of those before him. The other guys? Mostly forgotten now, even in Europe.
Even after being encased in cement to be admired by future generations.