Dayton in Montgomery County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
—Inventing Flight: The Centennial Celebration Series #9) —
“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
In the midst of the Cold War, the United States was losing face to the Soviet Union's superior space program. The Soviets had already put cosmonauts in space and were looking toward the moon. In the summer of 1961, with only one fifteen-minute space flight under the nation's belt, President Kennedy vowed to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It was the tallest order the nation had faced since World War II, and the first step was to place an astronaut in orbit.
For this initial step, an Ohioan would once again emerge at the forefront of aviation pioneers. John Glenn was assigned the task of piloting the first attempt to orbit the Earth. American scientists could only guess at what effect zero gravity would have on the human body. Could a person breathe properly, coordinate movement, swallow food? Glenn would find out.
On the morning of February 20, 1962, Friendship 7 lifted off. The craft glided into orbit around the Earth, and during nearly five hours in space Glenn watched the sun rise three times. He suffered no ill effects from weightlessness. He splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas where he was picked up 21 minutes later by a U.S.
Erected 2003 by Inventing Flight and Dayton Power & Light Company Foundation.
Location. 39° 46.103′ N, 84° 11.199′ W. Marker is in Dayton, Ohio, in Montgomery County. Touch for map. Marker is in Centennial Park, within Deeds Point MetroPark, off Webster Street, about 500 feet NNE of the confluence of the Mad and Great Miami Rivers. Marker is at or near this postal address: 510 Webster Street, Dayton OH 45402, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wright-Patterson AFB (here, next to this marker); McCook Field (a few steps from this marker); Huffman Prairie (a few steps from this marker); Neil Armstrong (within shouting distance of this marker); Inventing Flight: The Centennial Celebration (within shouting distance of this marker); Icarus (within shouting distance of this marker); The Solution: Wing Warping (within shouting distance of this marker); Chinese Kites (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dayton.
Also see . . .
1. John Glenn's 1999 NASA Biographical Data. (Submitted on April 7, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. John and Annie Glenn Historic Site Bio Page. (Submitted on April 7, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. NASA Glenn Research Center Information. (Submitted on April 7, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • 20th Century • Air & Space • Exploration • Government • Heroes • Man-Made Features • Notable Events • Notable Persons • Patriots & Patriotism • War, Cold •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 6, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 888 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on April 6, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 2. submitted on April 4, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.