Sunday, August 28, 2016
New Concord, Ohio: John and Annie Glenn Historic Site
Yet New Concord did something very right, because John Glenn grew up there. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth from space, and later went on to a distinguished career in the United States Senate. He even went back to space on the Shuttle to help scientists learn about the effects of space flight on older people.
It is hard to imagine just how exciting it must have been to have lived in New Concord during Glenn's flight in 1962. When he was honored in a parade afterwards, people had to park well out of town and walk for miles to join the huge crowd.
Glenn's boyhood house literally has been picked up twice and moved to different locations in New Concord. It's now right on Main Street, and visitors are welcome. The main floor is filled with family artifacts from the 1940s. Guests are greeted by an actor playing a member of the Glenn family, who gives a tour and shows the significance of many of the items. The living room is shown here. (By the way, by 2017 the museum plans to switch this part of the exhibit to 1962 in terms of memorabilia.) Other rooms in the house have plenty of exhibits too.
John and Annie Glenn also are a great love story. They literally were in the same playpen as children, as the families were close. They were married around World War II, and are together as of 2016 - he is 95, she is 96, and living in Columbus. You might remember that Annie overcame a stuttering problem, and has done more than her share of talking since then. That took a little courage too.
This is a bit off the beaten path, although at least it's just off an Interstate. And it's definitely worth your time to stop.
Here's a documentary on Glenn and New Concord done around 1963, with Jack Webb providing the narration. It's charming in its own way:
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Posted by Budd Bailey at 8:36 AM