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John Glenn's wild ride and how The Oklahoman covered it

Astronaut and former Ohio Senator John Glenn died Thursday at age 95.

Even though he made a career in politics, Glenn is best known as the pioneering astronaut who flew Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962 becoming the first American to orbit the earth and the fifth person in space behind a succession of Russian astronauts.

Here's a look back on how Glenn's historic flight aboard the Mercury spacecraft.

Glenn made history on this date but when the presses rolled he hadn't yet flown. Still, the state's attention was on the mission. This page also carried headlines of a local aviator, Maj. Mark Daniel, who had set four records in the T-38 the day before Glenn's launch.

The day after the mission, readers awoke to the news that Glenn had made it but not without a scare. As was famously depicted in the movie "The Right Stuff," those monitoring Glenn's flight from the ground weren't sure his heat shield was still intact and what the re-entry might do to the capsule's chute.

Three days after Glenn's flight news of what he saw included sighting from space the town of El Centro, California where he once lived. Glenn also downplayed the danger of his historic flight.

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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›