Today is the day on 1962 when John Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to successfully orbit the Earth. The stamp shown today is the 1962 4¢ Project Mercury Stamp and it was exciting to read its story of how the stamp was created in secrecy connected to the planned flight of the “Friendship 7” capsule.
“I don’t know what you could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets.”
– John Glenn
Project Mercury Stamp
From the Mystic Stamp Company –
Searching for the Project Mercury First-Day-Of-Issue-Stamps
Wow! That was such an exciting time for the Project Mercury Stamp to have truly been kept a secret! There were several articles I came across. This is a link to a New York Times article from February 18, 1990 Pastimes; Stamps.
And here is a brief excerpt from a great article from February 20, 2012 at Space.com – Search Continues for Secret Stamp Honoring John Glenn’s Historic Spaceflight
“Fifty years ago today (Feb. 20), John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, relied on ground stations located across the planet to communicate with his control team. But after his Mercury spacecraft, Friendship 7, safely splashed down, it was another type of station that took over tracking his historic mission: U.S. post offices.
For the first and only time in the country’s postal history, the United States Post Office Department — since 1971, the U.S. Postal Service — surprised the public with the release of a secret stamp celebrating Glenn’s successful mission. The 4-cent “Project Mercury” postage stamp was revealed and immediately put on sale in 305 post offices within an hour of Glenn’s triumphant return to Earth at 2:43 p.m. EST (1943 GMT) on Feb. 20, 1962.
Half a century later, collectors are still searching for those first-day-of-issue stamps.” <– End of excerpt
This YouTube of John Glenn in Orbit shows actual footage
We saw Ed Harris play John Glenn in the 1983 movie “The Right Stuff” – the movie won 4 Oscars. This weekend will find me having to watch it again!
Join me tomorrow as we continue the weekend and it will be my Sunday blog post. We are now less than a week away from my one year milestone of blogging daily which will be on February 26th – the countdown has begun!
Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced today —
Image shown upper left and of cover, excerpt from US Stamp #1193 – 1962 4c Project Mercury as shown at Mystic Stamp Company
Excerpt February 20, 2012 Search Continues for Secret Stamp Honoring John Glenn’s Historic Spaceflight by Robert Z. Pearlman, collectSPACE.com Editor
New York Times from February 18, 1990 Pastimes; Stamps by Barth Healey
YouTube John Glenn in Orbit posted by Michael Lennick