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1962 — A Hero’s Welcome

More than a decade before John Glenn would win a seat in the Senate, he was welcomed by a jubilant Capitol Hill as a bona fide hero just days after becoming the first American to orbit Earth on Feb. 20, 1962.

In these photos, Glenn, a Democrat who represented Ohio in the world’s most exclusive club from 1974 to 1999, is seen with then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson and testifying before the House and Senate Space committees.

As a sitting Senator, Glenn would return to orbit in the fall of 1998.