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Tour John Glenn’s childhood home in New Concord, Ohio, and experience life during the Great Depression and on the home front during WWII. The John & Annie Glenn Museum presents the life story of John and Annie Glenn through a series of engaging tours, featuring collections and galleries that contain special childhood treasures and memorabilia from Glenn’s military, political and space careers. This site is managed locally by the Museum Association of East Muskingum.
John H. Glenn, Jr. was born in Cambridge, Ohio on July 18, 1921, the son of John Herschel and Clara Sproat Glenn. At age two, young John moved with his parents to New Concord, where his father opened a plumbing business. After relocating to New Concord, the family built a home that doubled as a rooming house for students from nearby Muskingum College.
Glenn would write many years later of his childhood, “A boy could not have had a more idyllic early childhood than I did.” John developed an early interest in science, with a special fascination in flying.
He graduated from New Concord High School and attended Muskingum College. Shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Glenn enlisted in the Naval Aviation Cadet Program and became a Marine pilot. After he received his commission in the Marine Corps, Glenn married Annie Castor on April 6, 1943.
He served in WWII and in the Korean War and was a decorated pilot, with commendations including the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Glenn’s experience and skill led him to be selected by NASA as one of the first seven astronauts in the U.S. space program. On February 20, 1962, he rode into space and piloted the Friendship 7 spacecraft around the globe three times, becoming the first American to orbit the earth. Across the country, Glenn was lauded as a hero who had conquered the bounds of earth and given new wings to America’s spirit.
While Glenn continued to serve as an advisor to NASA until 1964, his interests increasingly turned to public affairs. Encouraged by Bobby Kennedy to seek public office, Glenn retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel the following year to run for the United States Senate.
In 1974, John Glenn became Ohio’s U.S. Democratic Senator, where he served until 1997. The following year he returned to NASA and became the oldest person ever to travel in space.
When he retired from government and returned from space, John and Annie Glenn founded the John Glenn Institute for Public Service at the Ohio State University.
Through its programs, they seek to improve the quality of public service and to encourage young people to pursue careers in government. John and Annie Glenn also served as trustees of Muskingum College, their alma mater.
Annie Glenn was born Anna Margaret Castor on February 17, 1920 to Homer and Margaret Castor of Columbus, Ohio. Like John Glenn, Annie attended New Concord public schools and continued her education at Muskingum College. An accomplished organist, she received a BS degree in 1942, with majors in music and education.
Annie Glenn had a severe stuttering problem all her life. In 1973, she completed an intensive program at the Communications Research Institute at Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia, and although she did not consider herself “cured,” she spoke freely and gave many speeches at public events.
She was a member of the Advisory Board for the National Center for Survivors of Childhood Abuse and served on the Advisory Board for the National First Ladies’ Library. She served on the National Deafness and other Communication Disorders Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health. She was also a member of the Advisory Panel of the Central Ohio Speech and Hearing Association.
Among her many honors, Annie Glenn was a member of the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Hall of Excellence of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges in 1999.