Monday, February 20, 2012

mad men in space

Fifty years ago, we were in the throes of a frenzied Space Race with Cold War rival Soviet Union who, to our dismay, were the first to send cosmonauts around the earth. (Our guys were astronuats, theirs were cosmonauts.)

On February 20, 1962 John Glenn evened the score, becoming the first American to circle the globe. He did it three times, in under five hours, less time than it now takes us to go JFK→LAX.

The best part of the Universal Newsreel chronicle of the trip is retro animation and antiquated announcer-speak: The Colonel is strapped to a “contoured couch” before blastoff when “millions are moved to silent prayer.”

Of course, this scenario jogged my memory of my favorite spaceman scene, below. Countdown to March 25.

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