First American Orbit of Earth
On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth aboard his Friendship 7 capsule.
Born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, John Glenn was enrolled in college when World War II began. Because he had earned his private pilot’s license, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He wasn’t called up quickly, so he joined the Navy in March 1942. He was reassigned to the Marines in 1943 and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.