On July 18th, 1921 in Cambridge, Ohio, John Herschel Glenn Jr came into the world. Who would have known that this youngster would grow up to become the first American to orbit the Earth and later take on the role as a United States Senator?
The Early Years
Although Glenn was born in Cambridge, he was reared in New Concord, Ohio. When it became time to enter higher education, he chose to study chemistry at Muskingum College. In 1941, it was at this college that Glenn would receive a private pilot’s license as part of a physics course credit. It didn’t long for the desire to enter the military to brew.
At first, Glenn enlisted to become part of the U.S. Army Air Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor took place. However, the Army did not call him up. He then enlisted as a United States Navy aviation cadet in March of 1942. Training at the Naval Air Station Olathe, Glenn completed his first solo flight in military aircraft. At the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, he was given a reassignment to the United States Marine Corps after undergoing advanced training. This occurred in 1943.
A few different pilot assignments and changes would take place over the course of the following months. Finally, he saw action over the Marshall Islands, where he laid attack to an anti-aircraft gunnery. He also dropped bombs during this mission. A transfer took place in 1945, where Glenn found himself at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. By the end of the war, Glenn had earned his captain’s stripes.
Words of Wisdom and Quotes
Since you can tell a lot about a person by their thoughts and how they express themselves, consider the following words of wisdom attributed to John Glenn before exploring the rest of the articles included in this series honoring the accomplishments of this influential astronaut.
“You know, … old folks can have dreams, too, as well as young folks, and then work toward them. And to have a dream like this come true for me is just a terrific experience.”
“We have an infinite amount to learn both from nature and from each other”
“I don’t know what you could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets.”
“The good lord only gave men so many hormones, and if others want to waste theirs growing hair that’s up to them”
“There is still no cure for the common birthday.”
“This is a day we have managed to avoid for a quarter of a century.”
“To look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible, … It just strengthens my faith. I wish there were words to describe what it’s like.”
“The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel.”