Friendship 7

Glenn Orbits Three Times Headline - First Orbital Flight - John Glenn - Friendship 7 - Mercury Capsule

On February 20, 1962 John Glenn became the first American astronaut to go into orbit in the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule. The Russians had earlier sent Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov into orbit.

Of course, my Grandma saved a few clippings in her scrapbook :-). I also have another item that she gave me that I will share at the end of the post.

It was a long, long day for John Glenn.

It Was a Long, Long Day - First Orbital Flight - John Glenn - Friendship 7 - Mercury Capsule

My Grandma also has handwritten notes on this page of her scrapbook and wrote that she had watched the events on Television. It is amazing that this event happened only 51 years ago, and that John Herschel Glenn is still living at the age of 91. For me who grew up in the Space Age, it is hard to imagine a time before space flight. I can just imagine my Grandma watching this on Television in total amazement at how far our technology had progressed.

One of the favorite things that my Grandma saved from the paper that week was a cartoon.

Frank Miller Cartoon - By the Rocket's Red Glare - First Orbital Flight - John Glenn - Friendship 7 - Mercury Capsule

Another wonderful cartoon by Frank Andrea Miller of the Des Moines Register. I really like the way he depicts this event with the Flag, the Mercury capsule and the banner with Col. John Glenn.

Years ago I was able to see the Friendship 7 capsule at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Today, I am having memories of that hurried visit that I was able to make before heading off to the airport. Sadly, I have not made a return trip to Washington D.C. Something I need to move up on my list of things to do.

My Grandmother gave me another item from the Space Race. On one of her trips to visit she brought me this interesting piece of advertising history.

Butternut Coffee Can - Space Race Scenes - Mercury - Gemini - Apollo  - NASA

I really like this Butternut Coffee Can with images from the Space Race. The images are so colorful and they tell a great story of courage and exploration.

I remember as a kid we were driving down the street one night with my Dad in his blue truck. I was standing up beside him on the bench seat. We were looking up at the moon and talking about how there were men on the moon. This is the earliest memory I have of the Space program.

What is your earliest memory of the Space program?


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12 Responses to Friendship 7

  1. Your post made me fire up the old brain cells. I must’ve been 10 years old when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I remember being allowed to stay up late (the fact of which awed me almost as much as what was happening 238,855 miles away) and watching the live broadcast on our BW TV.

    Please find time to go back to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum! I visit every time I am in DC (I have family in MD) and it has never ceased to be awe-inspiring for me.

  2. Boomdeeadda says:

    It’s hard to imagine, so much change in just 50 years. My earliest memory was when I was 10 and all or us being corralled into the music room by Mr Traynor (our Principal and my neighbour) to watch Apollo 13 splash down. I remember everyone cheering. We always thought watching a Television at school was a big deal since ours at home was B&W for the longest time.

  3. Another cracking post, Steven. I love the clippings. From a time gone by. Thank goodness your grandmother kept them!

  4. Sheryl says:

    I can remember sitting in first grade and listening to this on the radio. Even though I was very small–I can remember the huge amount of excitement about John Glen’s orbits in space.

  5. Glenda McDougal says:

    I was in college. Great classroom discussions. Your Grandmother never knew at the time what precious pictures she was saving!! Thanks for sharing.

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