On February 20, 1962, John Glenn went to space, becoming the first American in orbit and a national icon.

“This is Friendship 7. Have beautiful view of the African Coast.”

That was astronaut John Glenn reporting back to Earth from the Friendship 7 capsule on February 20th, 1962. Exactly 50 years ago.

“The horizon is a brilliant, brilliant blue.”

Minutes earlier, he had become the first American to enter orbit around the Earth, and the second person overall after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.


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