July 18, 2019 | sobczakd
On July 18, John Glenn would have turned 98. John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962 and later served as a United States Senator from Ohio. In 1998, NASA invited him to join the team aboard the space shuttle Discovery and at the age of 77, he became the oldest human ever to do so. He never gave up on his dream or fascination with flight. John Glenn was part of an elite group of astronauts known as the Mercury 7 who became national heroes. That historic mission was immortalized in the 1983 movie, The Right Stuff, starring Ed Harris as the iconic John Glenn. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 95. Godspeed, John Glenn.
The time was the late 1940s. World War II had just ended and the United States was entering into a new kind of war, a Cold War. New technology and the development of high-speed aircraft became one of the centerpieces of this new kind of conflict. The race to space between the United States and the Soviet Union had just begun. Adapted from Tom Wolfe’s best-selling book, The Right Stuff tells the heroic story of Chuck Yeager (the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound), the Flying Fraternity and the Mercury Astronauts – the first Americans in space. The bravery and daring exploits of these men captured the imagination of the American public during the 1940s and 1950s,and The Right Stuff re-creates these breathtaking events in emotionally riveting and suspenseful detail.
Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.
He was the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. Nearly four decades later, as the world's oldest astronaut, his courage riveted a nation. But these two historic events only bracket a life that covers the sweep of an extraordinary century. In this engrossing book, John Glenn tells the story of his unique life--one lived at the center of a momentous time in history by a man who helped shape that history. He is the kind of hero who resists being called a hero. And yet his exploits in the service of his country, his dedication to family and friends, and his rock-ribbed traditional values have made this small-town boy from the Midwest a true American icon. John Glenn's autobiography spans the seminal events of the twentieth century. It is a story that begins with his childhood in New Concord, Ohio, in the aftermath of World War I. It was there that he learned the importance of family, community, and patriotism. Glenn saw firsthand the ravages of the Depression and learned that determination, hard work, and teamwork could overcome any adversity. These were the values he carried with him as a Marine fighter pilot during World War II and into the skies over Korea, for which he would be decorated for his courage, dedication, and sacrifice. Glenn flew missions with men he would never forget, from baseball great Ted Williams to little-known heroes who would never return to their families. Always a gifted flier, it was during the war that he contemplated the unlimited possibilities of aviation and its next frontiers: speed and space. John Glenn takes us into the cockpits of the experimental planes and spacecraft he flew to experience the pulse-pounding excitement of the early days of jet aviation, including his record-setting transcontinental flight in an F8U Crusader in 1957, and then on to his selection for the Project Mercury program in 1959. We see the early days of NASA, where he first served as a backup pilot for astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom and helped refine some of the initial cockpit and control designs for the Apollo program. In 1962 Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas6 Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Then came several years in international business, followed by a twenty-four-year career as a U.S. senator--and in 1998 a return to space for his remarkableDiscovery mission at the age of seventy-seven. This extraordinary book captures the unique alchemy that brings a man to the forefront of his time. Married to a woman he first met when they were both toddlers, known for his integrity, common sense, and leadership in the Senate, John Glenn tells a story that we must hear. For this narrative of steadfastness, devotion, courage, and honor is both a great adventure tale and a source of powerful inspiration for an age that needs John Glenn's values more than ever before.
War hero, test pilot, American astronaut, and U.S. Senator--for John Glenn, serving his country has always been a joyous adventure. How does a boy from a small Ohio town grow up to become one of the most enduring heroes in American history? Young readers find out as they follow his inspiring story from his schoolboy days in New Concord, Ohio, to his adventures as a highly decorated Marine Corps pilot in both World War II and the Korean War, a test pilot, one of the seven Mercury astronauts and the first American to orbit Earth, a successful businessman, a U.S. Senator, and, at the age of 77, the oldest human being in space. Don Mitchell skillfully weaves highlights from John Glenn's extraordinary life with inspirational quotes and dynamic images to create an intimate portrait of a man whose challenge to young people everywhere is to become dedicated "to a purpose larger than themselves." This superbly illustrated book follows the life trajectory of a very focused, highly competitive man, driven by a sense of duty to his country and an innate sense of obligation towards others. Readers will find themselves inspired to "liftoff" to new heights of achievement.
Research has found that the majority of middle school students have not reached a proficient reading level and that there are few age-appropriate resources available for older struggling readers. the new and innovative, Just the Facts Biographies series, which offers more than 100 pages on the lives of some of history's most important and influential figures, addresses these concerns by presenting biographies written at a 3rd grade level, but designed for middle school students. Each biography has been assessed by an educational expert to ensure that it enhances students' comprehension and vocabulary, enabling struggling readers to gain the practice and skills necessary to become more proficient readers and progress to a higher reading level. John Glenn made history as the first American to orbit the earth. His amazing career included time spent as a fighter pilot in World War II, an astronaut, and a senator. He pushed the limits in everything he did, from setting a transcontinental speed record as a test pilot to returning to space at age 77 to conduct experiments on the effects of space on the elderly. Discover the fascinating story behind a true American hero.