This past week we saw the passing of John G. Glenn, the last of the Mercury Seven and the first American to orbit the Earth. A few years ago, while a member of the Board of Directors at the National Space Society, I was lucky enough to see John Glenn at a Gala in his and his colleague Scott Carpenter honor. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of Friendship 7 and he gave a great speech and seemed very energetic given his advanced age.
John was one of the astronauts that was a common theme in most of the space books I read as a kid and came to know even more about him while I was in high school and he returned to space on Discovery in 1998. That was a terrific time to watch him be part of a crew and (at least to me) take a victory lap around the Earth one more time (or several more times lol).
In his honor, I wanted to link you all to an awesome old video made about Glenn in the early 1960s. The John Glenn Story. Its worth it and if I ever find it on DVD, I plan to get it for the collection.
Thank you John for braving the Atlas and a potentiatlly loose heat shield. You helped open up the doors for space operations, exploration and victory in the Cold War space race.