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February 20, 2012
'God Speed, John Glenn'
Fifty years ago today, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, launching from Cape Canaveral, orbiting the earth 3 times, and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean a few hours after blasting off into the overcast Florida skies. If you've never read Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff" or if you weren't alive at the time, it might be difficult to imagine the excitement and suspense generated by Glenn's ride into space. I recall my mother kneeling in front of the TV set praying as Glenn lifted off from the Cape, and Scott Carpenter, handling ground to capsule communications for NASA, sent him on his way saying, "God speed, John Glenn" as the rocket cleared the tower. The Miami Herald remembers: Tom Wolfe, in The Right Stuff, called him the "last true national hero," and 50 years after Glenn's first reach into the firmament, when stars of sports, movies, reality television and other frivolities have come to monopolize the public adoration, Wolfe seems more right than...(Read Full Post)