COLUMBUS, Ohio — A statue of John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth and later a U.S. senator from Ohio, will be displayed at the Ohio Statehouse beginning next month.
Glenn, who was born in Cambridge, Ohio, on July 18, 1921, became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the planet on Feb. 20, 1962, aboard Friendship 7.
The 7-foot-tall bronze statue will be part of a temporary exhibit to honor Glenn on the 60th anniversary of his historic flight and the centennial of his birth, WHIO reported. It will be placed in the Statehouse on Wednesday.
Glenn died Dec., 8, 2016, at the age of 95.
“John Glenn’s achievements in space exploration and public service make his statue most deserving of being displayed at the Ohio Statehouse,” Sen. Jay Hottinger, chair of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, said in a written statement. The board operates the State Capitol grounds and building.
Glenn served as a U.S. senator for Ohio from 1974 until his retirement in 1999. While in the Senate, Glenn returned to space on the space shuttle ship Discovery in October 1998, where he served as a payload specialist.
The statue of Glenn was created by Zanesville sculptor Alan Cottrill, the Times Recorder reported. Cottrill also sculpted a statue of another famous Ohio resident, inventor Thomas Edison, WHIO reported.
The project was spearheaded by State Rep. Adam Holmes, R-Zanesville, who represents New Concord, where Glenn grew up, and Cambridge, the Times Recorder reported.
Glenn’s statue will be on display until March 2022, the television station reported. It will be near an exhibit in the lower level of the Statehouse called “Great Ohioans.” The exhibit currently features aviators Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright, and astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first U.S. astronaut to walk on the moon.
That statue now resides in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, according to WHIO.