john glen The weekend has been honored with a three-day celebration in Ohio that will mark the 100th birthday of the history-making astronaut and US senator.
Glenn, who died in 2016, was the first American to orbit Earth Made him a national hero in 1962. Prior to this, he served as a military fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean War and set an intercontinental air speed record. In 1998, at the age of 77, he became the oldest person to go into space. He spent 24 years in the US Senate as a Democrat.
John Glenn Centennial Celebration Friday to Sunday was a collaboration between Cambridge where Glenn was born on July 18, 1921, and nearby New Concord, where he grew up and met his late wife, Annie Who died last year of 100 complications of COVID-19.
The late senator’s daughter Lynn Glenn watched the parade floats from the front porch of her father’s childhood home until Saturday, a place she also felt at home.
“We moved a lot as a family, and so they always brought us back here for the holidays because it’s the most consistent place in my life,” she told the Zainsville Times recorder. “Coming back here is so familiar, and it’s also so personal.”
The paper reports that one fan after another contacted Lynn Glenn throughout the day to share their memories, and that they included Glenn Shook, a New York City reporter who shared some of the planet’s orbits for his father. Nominated a year later.
Edward and Jill Shook write to John Glenn, telling him they will name their son after him, not expecting a response. Instead, he received a letter from NASA with a photo signed by Glenn bearing his name in New Jersey and a letter to the boy’s parents saying they were honored by his gesture.
Those correspondence would continue into Shook’s childhood. In 1969, when Shook was 5 years old, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. John Glenn made sure to sign the photographs sent to Shook to commemorate the historic occasion.
Shook said, “I used to get stuff in the mail like all the time without asking him.”
Weekend festivities also included a performance by ex-Shuttle astronaut and fellow Ohioan Don Thomas, rocket car rides, space movies and the type of biplane ride in which a young Glenn flew over Cambridge. Other commemorations of Glenn’s birth a century ago are planned throughout the month in the area.