Tributes to John Glenn have run the gamut from national hero to “American badass.”
John Glenn: American badass https://t.co/gH6pICNpxU
— Alex Parker (@AlexParker) December 8, 2016
Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit Earth, died Thursday. He was 95.
Glenn was also a former Marine and United States senator, but it was primarily his forays into space that inspired those who knew him or knew of him.
“His achievement marked the moment the US caught up with the Soviet Union in manned space exploration,” the BBC reported.
Glenn’s flight transfixed the nation. Most people watched it on the small screens of black and white TV sets. Their young President was John F. Kennedy. This was happening in the shadow of World War II and amid the Cold War with the Soviet Union, a competitor in space. To Americans then it seemed like the dawn of an age of possibility. In hindsight, it was that indeed.