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A Trip Through Time

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The first time Sen. John Glenn shot down an enemy jet as a Marine Corps fighter pilot during the Korean War, he commemorated it in writing. 

In his flight logbook on that date, July 12, 1953, (photo, above) he drew his F-86 Sabre in blue, complete with the “MIG Mad Marine” and “LynAnnieDave I” painted on the side. He illustrated the gunfire he had aimed at the Soviet plane, which was falling through the air with flames coming out of the top. His note on the page: “1 MIG-15 DESTROYED.” 

“It shows another side of Sen. Glenn, that he really was gung-ho about this aspect of military combat, but he also was an artist,” said Carly Dearborn, assistant professor and public policy archivist at University Libraries. “It’s a very good drawing of his aircraft.” 

Dearborn spent this spring and summer meticulously renewing seven display cases in Page Hall with memorabilia spanning Glenn’s relationship with Ohio State and his life from his childhood to his relationship with his wife, Annie, through his military, space and public service careers. 

“I wanted some of the personal words to come through,” said Dearborn, explaining why she included speeches, letters, diaries and news clippings in the displays. 

The displays had been installed when Page Hall was renovated in 2004, so they needed some attention, Dearborn said. She hopes the artifacts are enjoyed by new visitors wanting to learn about Glenn as well as students. 

“We want students to see themselves within these archives and be inspired by what they see,” she said. 

See these gems Dearborn included among the displays. 

Bubble gum trading cards circulated after Glenn’s successful Friendship 7 flight

Campaign buttons commemorate Glenn’s 1984 run for president 

Glenn sorts through fan mail he received following his Friendship 7 flight, including this letter from a New Orleans 5th-grade class.