John F. Kennedy

Announcement of John Glenn's Successful Mercury-Atlas 6 Mission

delivered 2 February 1962, White House, Washington, D.C.

Audio mp3 of Address


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

I know that I express the great happiness and thanksgiving of all of us that Colonel Glenn has completed his trip.

And I know that this is particularly felt by Mrs. Glenn and his two children.

A few days ago, Colonel Glenn came to the White House and visited me. And he was, as are the other astronauts,1 the kind of American of whom we are most proud.

Some years ago, as a Marine pilot, he raced the sun across this country -- and lost.

And today he won.

I also want to say a word for all those who participated with Colonel Glenn at Canaveral. They faced many disappointments and delays, the burdens upon them were great, but they kept their heads and they made a judgment, and I think their judgment has been vindicated.

We have a long way to go in the space race. We started late. But this is the new ocean, and I believe the United States must sail on it and be in a position second to none.

Some years -- months ago I said that I hoped that every American would serve his country.

Today Colonel Glenn served his.

And we all express our thanks to him.

Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

1 The other astronauts selected in the "Mercury Seven" group included Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton.

Image Source: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Page Updated: 9/27/21

U.S. Copyright Status: This text = Property of Audio = Uncertain. Image = Public domain.

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.