Today marks 55th anniversary of John Glenn mission around the Earth

John Glenn

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John Glenn

On Feb. 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Today marks the first time the anniversary has been marked since Glenn’s death in December.

Glenn lived a storybook life under the bright and constant glare of public attention, awe and adoration. The small-town Ohio boy married his childhood sweetheart, served as a fighter pilot in two wars, a test pilot, an astronaut and a U.S. Senator.

PHOTOS: Scenes of John Glenn in Dayton through the years

Glenn later became a U.S. senator from Ohio, serving until the late 1990s.

He also became the oldest person ever in space when he went back up at the age of 77.

RECENT HONOR: Columbus airport to be renamed after John Glenn

On Dec. 17, 2016, Ohioans and national and state leaders honored Glenn during an emotional service in Columbus that included a Marine escort through downtown.

“I think John defined what it meant to be an American,” Vice President Joe Biden said during the service at Ohio State University.

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