Fifty years ago John Glenn became the first American into orbit, an important first step on the way to the moon.
You can search the Smithsonian's archives for Friendship 7 items, and some of them are, well, odd.
Like these five:
5. Mark Dixon's blanket Who's Mark Dixon? Just some kid from Michigan who had a John Glenn blanket on his bed in his youth. And kept it, fortunately for the Smithsonian.
The Smithsonian says the thing was only intended for use "in the event of a minor mishap," and Glenn is probably thankful none came up.
2. A cookie jar We can only surmise that the Smithsonian is truly proud of this item, because the offiicial description lets owner David McMahon go on at length:
David McMahon, whose family owned this particular cookie jar, recalled being caught up in that enthusiam, "Our family had "space fever... Our family was thrilled with John Glenn's first U.S. orbital mission, and a few days later in the local Woolworth Department store a display appeared of these cookie jars, celebrating the event.
My mother, who was a consummate Toll-House cookie baker, bought the jar for my father to celebrate (full of her chocolate-chip cookies) and we all stuffed ourselves, taking turns removing the top of the Mercury capsule and pulling out cookies."
The cookie jar remained in use by his family "well into the Shuttle era."
Godspeed, David McMahon.
1. Some medaillon We have no idea whose face that is on the medal, but it ain't John Glenn's.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.