It's a day of ceremonies at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday, as NASA marks the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's historic first orbit of the Earth in the spaceship "Friendship 7."  Now 90 years old, Glenn - who actually holds a valid pilot's license - made his entire life about space, returning to space most recently aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery...at age 77.

FOX News Radio's Eben Brown has more from Miami:

By 1962, the Soviets had been bragging their space superiority, and the American people were gritting their teeth...then John Glenn launched.  Alan Shepard was the first American in space, but Glenn's flight proved the U.S. could do what they did; put a man in orbit.

(Glenn) "And this was against that backdrop, and those kind of competitions of the Cold War, that were some of the impetus for the program."

Glenn's flight ignited a new patriotism historians say helped win the Cold War.  They credit it for giving the U.S. the guys to beat the Soviets to the moon.

In Miami, Eben Brown, FOX News Radio.

WATCH more on Glenn's historic flight HERE:


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