The Pointe

MidPointe Library's Official Blog

#tbt - June 1980: John Glenn visits Middletown

It’s not every day that the “quintessential American hero” * visits one’s town. 

On June 11, 1980, in Middletown, Ohio, one such hero did. 

The special guest was not only the serving United States Senator from Ohio. He was also the first American to orbit Planet Earth.   

His name: John Glenn. 

Thanks to the Harold and Carolyn Kramer Photo Collection in MidPointe Library’s Digital Archives, three color photos of Glenn’s visit that summer day are preserved for history.  

In one photo Glenn appears speaking at a podium. In the others he’s engaged in conversation.  The identities of those individuals are unknown.

Captions accompanying the photos don’t offer the reason for Glenn’s visit or where it took place. However, what appears to be the letter, “M,” on a podium in one photo indicates the location may have been the Manchester Inn hotel in downtown Middletown.  

No doubt Middletonians were proud to host the distinguished guest and historic figure. 


At the time they couldn’t have envisioned Glenn returning to Space one day. But this Ohio Buckeye wouldn’t be grounded forever. 

On October 29, 1998, the first American to orbit the Earth made history again by becoming ‘the oldest person to date to fly in space” by serving as a payload specialist with the crew aboard the space shuttle Discovery.  At the time he was 77.  

According to NASA, Glenn’s 1998 flight “provided … an opportunity to gain valuable data on the effects of weightlessness on a person 36 years apart. It easily was the longest length of time between flights by the same person. Medical data was also gathered on the effects of spaceflight and weightlessness on the elderly.” 

It’s impossible to list all the accomplishments of John Glenn, proud son of Ohio.  

His earthly mission of 95 years ended in December 2016 in Columbus, Ohio, a Buckeye to the end.  



MidPointe Library Digital Archives, available at: > eLibrary > Digital Archives > Harold and Carolyn Kramer Photo Collection 

* “John H. Glenn Jr. -- The Quintessential American Hero” (NASA obituary): 

Other photos from

Above right : Photo of John Glenn with Neil Armstrong, who in July 1969 became the first man to step upon the Moon. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of “Friendship 7,” Glenn’s historic flight.


If you love all-things-Space, stop by the MidPointe Library Summer Reading Program going on now at all MidPointe locations: Middletown, West Chester, Trenton, Monroe, Liberty Township (2nd floor, Liberty Center) and onboard the “Library On Wheels,” formerly known as the Bookmobile!

This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories,” a nod to the 50th anniversary of the first steps of a human upon the Moon. That human was Neil Armstrong, pictured above.

Read books for prizes, enjoy special programs and more! For more information about Summer Reading, go to : > Services > Summer Reading > Events (for a calendar of activities)

You’ll find lots about “Space” at our space ! > Catalog Search > eLibrary