On This Day In History : Astronaut John Glenn Rockets Into History

Bro. John Glenn
 "I don't know what you could say about a day in which you've seen four beatiful sunsets."

~John Glenn
Concord Lodge No. 688, Ohio

Fifty years ago today, former Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, became the first American to orbit the Earth.  In the years leading up to Glenn's flight in the Friendship 7 capsule, in which he circled the Earth three times, the goal of the program was very clear: to get Americans into space and, eventually, to land Americans on the moon.

The Illustrious John Glenn 33° originally petitioned his hometown lodge, Concord Lodge No. 688 of New Concord, Ohio, in 1964. He was elected to receive the Degrees of Masonry; however, his increasingly busy life made it impossible for him to receive those degrees at the time. Even so, he continued to desire admission in Concord Lodge. Fourteen years later, on August 19, 1978, John Glenn was finally able to finish what he had begun in 1964. At the Chillicothe High School gymnasium with hundreds of Master Masons present, John Glenn received the Master Mason degree in a special meeting. After the Master of Scioto Lodge No. 6 opened the lodge, he turned the meeting over to Grand Master of Ohio, Jerry C. Rasor, who in turn opened the Grand Lodge of Ohio who conferred the degrees.

On April 11, 1997, Brother Glenn received further light in Masonry in the Valley of Cincinnati when he received the Scottish Rite Degrees. He later received the highest Masonic honor on September 10, 1998, when he was conferred with the 33° of Masonry. Several of his friends from Washington, D.C., attended the event. Senate colleagues, Brothers Charles Grassley and Conrad Burns, were present as was a former Ohio congressman Brother Clarence Brown, Jr. of the Valley of Dayton. It might be interesting to note that there are two topics deemed inappropriate to discuss in a lodge of Freemasons because they are topics that divide men instead of uniting them—religion and politics. This ideal is obviously something John Glenn very much believes in. The three friends that joined Brother Glenn at the conferral of his 33° were Republicans. John Glenn has been a lifelong Democrat.


  1. Thank you for this history on Illustrious John Glenn. May he rest in peace.

  2. My deepest sympathies to Brother Glenn's loved ones! While I wasn't working at Cape Canaveral during the Atlas Mercury era (at that time working for RCA on the BMEWS Project), I later served as the QA Representative with Burroughs Corp (1979) at Launch Complex #13, original Pad and contractor (Burroughs) for Launch & Guidance Computer for all Atlas Mercury and Gemeni Shots. Am a 65 year member of Cumberland Star Lodge #197, F&AM Carlisle, PA Godspeed John Glenn

  3. I'm a brother to all of you out there. it was so nice to hear nice things about a great person like John Glenn.


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