2016 is going down as a memorable year in good and bad ways. Some memorable occurrences that occurred in 2016 were the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series, Donald Trump won the election, Cleveland Cavilers won the NBA Finals, and unfortunately there were many celebrities and notable people who passed away. Some of the notable ones included Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Antonin Scalia, Harper Lee, Nancy Regan, Prince, and the list, unfortunately, can go on and on. However, you can add another name to that list as former Ohio Senator John Glenn passed away yesterday at the age of 95.
He was born on July 18,1921 in Cambridge, Ohio. He would end up becoming known as doing many things from being an aviator to being an astronaut to being a senator from Ohio. However, probably one of the bigger accomplishments he would end up having would end up coming in 1962. In 1962, Glenn would become the first American to orbit the Earth as he would orbit Earth three times. This was a major thing at the time as the United States was in the mist of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
One of the major avenues with the Cold War was the Space Race that ended up going on.
The Soviet Union happened to be the first ones to get to space with Sputnik in 1957 and this would get the United States very eager to want to do something. So the United States decided to send seven astronauts up to space in the capsule known as Friendship 7. One of the members of this team would be John Glenn and this would end up making him a star. He would end up getting a ticker tape parade in New York City and would be given the NASA Distinguished Service Medal by President John F. Kennedy.
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The actions of John Glenn on that mission would end up being responsible for Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book, “The Right Stuff” and would lead to a movie being done in 1983 where actor Ed Harris would play John Glenn. Unfortunately, this would be the end of John Glenn’s time with the space program, as he would end up getting elected as the governor of Ohio. He would end up staying in office until 1997 when he would end up announcing that he would not be interested in seeking another term. He would end up walking away from politics in 1999 and putting a close to a twenty-five year run in politics.
For someone who was a prominent public figure for almost four decades, there were very little you can find wrong with him. However, the only two times where he would do something wrong or fail at something was in 1984 when he made an attempt to get the democratic nomination for the presidency. The another one was his connection to the 1980’s Savings and Loan scandal. Basically, what had happened was John Glenn was one of five senators who was known as the “Keating Five” who ended up accepting political contributions from Lincoln Savings and Loan chief Charlies Keating.
It should be noted that the other political figures that would end up being involved in this scandal in addition to John Glenn were Alan Cranston a Democrat from California, Dennis DeConcini a Democrat from Arizona, John McCain a Republican from Arizona, and Donald W. Riegle a Democrat from Michigan. What had happened was in 1989 when the company Lincoln Savings would end up collapsing, this would end up costing the federal government roughly $3 billion in costs.
John Glen would happen to make a return to space in 1998 as he would end up becoming the oldest person to travel in space. He has a lot of buildings in Ohio named after him and in my opinion, that is the right thing to do for someone who became an absolute legend. It is still tragic what happened to him as he passed away yesterday at an Ohio Hospital after being admitted there roughly one week ago.