I was just starting grade school on Feb. 20, 1962, and didn’t know anything about John Glenn. But I, and the rest of the world, soon heard about him, because on that epic day – 57 years ago – he became the first American to orbit the earth.
In 4 hours and 56 minutes, Glenn circled the globe three times aboard Friendship 7, reaching speeds of over 17,000 miles per hour. Glenn was part of the “Mercury Seven” astronauts, who helped launch the U.S. into the space race. Our late Ohio senator became a hero and symbol of American ambition.