Fans seek John Glenn statue to mark milestones at Statehouse

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FILE – In this Feb. 20, 1962, file photo, provided by NASA, astronaut John Glenn pilots the “Friendship 7” Mercury spacecraft during his historic flight as the first American to orbit the Earth. Fans of the late astronaut are working to bring a statue of his likeness to the Ohio Statehouse to mark major future milestones, such as his birthday and the anniversary of his famous space flight. Thursday marks 58 years since Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, making him an instant national hero in 1962. (NASA via AP, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Fans of the late astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn are working to bring a statue of his likeness to the Ohio Statehouse to mark major future milestones, such as his birthday and the anniversary of his famous space flight.

Thursday marks 58 years since Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, making him an instant national hero in 1962. He returned to space in 1998, at age 77, as part of NASA research on aging.

State Rep. Adam Holmes, a Zanesville Republican, has proposed temporarily placing a statue of Glenn on Statehouse grounds beginning with what would have been his 100th birthday on July 18, 2021. Under his plan, it would return again on Feb. 20, 2022, for the 60th anniversary of Glenn’s orbital flight in Friendship 7.

The next meeting of the board governing Statehouse installations is in April.

Rules governing the Statehouse grounds do not allow for the permanent placement of a person’s statue until they have been dead at least 25 years. Glenn died in 2016 at age 95.

The $80,000, 7-foot bronze statue of him that is being eyed by Holmes was crafted by Alan Cottrill, who was born and raised in Zanesville, a short drive from New Concord, where Glenn and his wife, Annie, met and grew up.

Adam Sackowitz, a student of Glenn’s life from New York, said he also has been in talks with the city of Cambridge, where Glenn was born, about putting the statue on permanent displaying the post office there.

Annie Glenn turned 100 on Monday.

A resolution urging Congress to award the Glenns a joint Congressional Gold Medal is pending in the Ohio Legislature.

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