John Herschel Glenn, Jr. was a U.S. Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, businessman and U.S. Senator. Our Museum began with his vision and every day we strive to live up to the guiding principles he set forth: To Honor, Connect, Inspire and Educate. In honor of his birthday, we celebrate John Glenn’s dedication to our community, nation and Veterans.
Take a stroll down memory lane with these 5 Supersonic Facts:
Glenn, Jr. was born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio
The son of John Herschel Glenn, Sr., who worked for a plumbing firm, and Clara Teresa Glenn, a teacher. His parents had married shortly before John, Sr., a member of the American Expeditionary Force, left for the Western Front during World War I.
The family moved to New Concord, Ohio soon after John, Jr.’s birth. At eight years old, he flew his first airplane with his father and from there, became fascinated by flight and built model airplanes from balsa wood kits.
Glenn was only a toddler when he met his future wife, Annie Castor
Glenn, Jr. was only a toddler when he met his future wife, Anna Margaret (Annie) Castor. The pair became high school sweethearts and continued dating through college. Castor and Glenn were married on April 6, 1943 and had two children — John David, born in 1945, and Carolyn Ann, born in 1947.
During World War II and the Korean War, Glenn flew 149 missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross six times
Colonel John Glenn joined the American war effort in 1942 by entering the Naval Aviation Cadet Program. The following year, he completed his studies and was deployed as a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot in the Pacific front of World War II. He flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific. During the Korean War, Glenn continued his service in the U.S. Marine Corps as a fighter pilot on 63 missions and as an exchange pilot with the Air Force on 27 missions.
Glenn was one of our nation’s first astronauts
He was one of the Mercury Seven, military test pilots selected in 1959 as the nation’s first NASA astronauts. On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission, becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, the third American and fifth person in history to be in space.
At age 77, Glenn flew on Space Shuttle Discovery’s STS-95 mission, making him the oldest person to enter Earth’s orbit
On October 29, 1998, Glenn returned to space as a payload specialist on a nine-day mission. He participated in experiments that studied the similarities between the aging process and the body’s response to weightlessness.
“To me, there is no greater calling. If I can inspire young people to dedicate themselves to the good of mankind, I’ve accomplished something.”