On July 16, 1957, Marine pilot Maj. John H. Glenn Jr. made the first non-stop supersonic flight from Los Angeles to New York. Glenn landed at Floyd Bennet Field in his F8UI Crusader 3 hours, 23 minutes, 8.4 seconds after departure from Los Alamitos Naval air station in Ca., breaking the previous record set in 1955.
ANTHONY CAMERANOASSOCIATED PRESS
On April 9, 1959, NASA introduced the country to its first astronauts. They were, front row left to right, Walter H. Schirra, Jr., Donald K. Slayton, John H. Glenn, Jr., and M. Scott Carpenter; back row, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Virgil I. 'Gus' Grissom, and L. Gordon Cooper.
This May 1961 photo shows astronauts, from left, Virgil I. Grissom, John Glenn and Alan Shepard. Shepard became the first American in space with a 15 1/2-minute flight on May 5, 1961. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, spending about 5 hours in space on Feb. 20, 1962. Grissom flew the second and final suborbital Mercury flight on July 21, 1961. He died in the Apollo spacecraft flash fire at Kennedy Space Center in 1967.
Astronaut John Glenn and his wife Annie pose with their children – John David, 26, and Lyn, 14. – in Arlington, Va., Feb. 4, 1962, after attending church services. Glenn then returned to Cape Canaveral.
Byron RollinsAssociated Press
Astronaut John Glenn poses in his Mercury space suit, at Cape Canaveral, Fla., in February 1962, just before his historic three-lap flight around the Earth.
A technician adjusts the neck wrap of astronaut John Glenn in this Feb. 20, 1962 photo.
John Glenn and his capsule, Friendship 7
The Atlas rocket carrying the Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral, Fla., piloted by Col. John Glenn Jr. – the first American to orbit the earth. Glenn orbited three times around the globe at 17,400 miles an hour.
Astronaut John Glenn photographed in space by an automatic sequence motion picture camera during his flight on "Friendship 7." Glenn was in a state of weightlessness traveling at 17,500 mph as these pictures were taken.
Kennedy Space CenterNASA
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s front page, Tuesday, February 20, 1962. John Glenn's flight is lead story.
Astronaut John Glenn, right, shows President John F. Kennedy his "Friendship 7" space capsule at Cape Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 23, 1962.
Mercury astronaut John Glenn and his wife, Annie, ride in the back of an open car with Vice-President Johnson during a parade in Glenn's honor in Washington on Feb. 26, 1962.
Following his successful first flight, Astronaut John Glenn was the star of a ticker tape parade in New York, March 1, 1962. His wife Annie can be seen also waving; at right in white coat is Vice President Lyndon Johnson.
Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio peers inside his Mercury Friendship 7 space capsule which is on display at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum in Washington Monday Feb. 10, 1997.
RON EDMONDSASSOCIATED PRESS