It was 50 years ago today that Ohio-born and -raised John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. He had been a pilot and flight instructor in the Navy and the Marines and served in both World War II and the Korean War before being chosen by NASA to participate in Project Mercury in 1959.
According to his NASA bio,
In 4 hours and 56 minutes, John Glenn circled the globe three times, reaching speeds of more than 17,000 miles per hour. The successful mission concluded with a splashdown and recovery in the Atlantic Ocean, 800 miles southeast of Bermuda.
Glenn is now 90 years old and has remained involved in Democratic politics, most recently taping an ad supporting the repeal of SB 5 last November. — Anastasia Pantsios