Daily Almanac for Sunday, February 20, 2022

On this date in 1962, Astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. He made 3 trips around the earth in his Mercury-Atlas spacecraft, Friendship 7, in just under 5 hours. This is Glenn in his Mercury spacesuit. 1962 photo. By NASA – NASA Commons on Flickr, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, businessman, and politician. He was the third American in space, and the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times in 1962. Following his retirement from NASA, he served from 1974 to 1999 as a Democratic United States Senator from Ohio; in 1998, he flew into space again at age 77.

Before joining NASA, Glenn was a distinguished fighter pilot in World War IIChina and Korea. He shot down three MiG-15s, and was awarded six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen Air Medals. In 1957, he made the first supersonic transcontinental flight across the United States. His on-board camera took the first continuous, panoramic photograph of the United States.

He was one of the Mercury Seven, military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA as the nation’s first astronauts. On February 20, 1962, Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission, becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, the third American and fifth person in history to be in space. He received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1962, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Glenn resigned from NASA in January 1964. A member of the Democratic Party, Glenn was first elected to the Senate in 1974 and served for 24 years, until January 1999. Aged 77, Glenn flew on Space Shuttle Discovery‘s STS-95 mission, making him the oldest person to enter Earth orbit, and the only person to fly in both the Mercury and the Space Shuttle programs. Glenn, both the oldest and the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven, died at the age of 95 on December 8, 2016.



The season of Pre-Lent, once marked by the Roman Catholic Church, developed in the seventh century and included the three Sundays before the beginning of Lent. These Sundays are Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima—roughly 70, 60, and 50 days before Easter. The church has not officially celebrated Pre-Lent since 1969.

Question of the Day

Can you tell me a bit about Ansel Adams?Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902. Four years later, in 1906, he broke his nose by falling during an aftershock of the San Francisco earthquake—an accident that left a permanent scar. As an adult, Ansel became a world-famous photographer of the American West.

Advice of the Day

Pisceans tend to be sensitive, compassionate, sympathetic, and imaginative.

Home Hint of the Day

Don’t bother to burn wet or green firewood. Aside from the creosote problem it causes, it takes a lot of heat to boil the moisture out of wood, and that heat isn’t recoverable.

Word of the Day

Span9 inches; derived from the distance between the end of the thumb and the end of the little finger when both are outstretched.

Puzzle of the Day

What sort of face does an auctioneer like best?One that is for-bidding.


  • Frederick Douglass (abolitionist) – 1895
  • Walter Winchell (journalist) – 1972
  • Alice Roosevelt Longworth (last surviving child of Teddy Roosevelt) – 1980
  • Rene Dubos (environmentalist, microbiologist) – 1982
  • Dick York (actor) – 1992
  • Gene Siskel (film critic) – 1999
  • Sandra Dee (actress) – 2005
  • John Raitt (actor) – 2005
  • Hunter S. Thompson (journalist and author who unleashed the concept of gonzo journalism” in books like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”) – 2005


  • Ansel Adams (photographer) – 1902
  • Sidney Poitier (actor) – 1927
  • Phil Esposito (hockey player) – 1942
  • Charles Barkley (basketball player) – 1963
  • Cindy Crawford (model) – 1966
  • Lili Taylor (actress) – 1967
  • Trevor Noah (television host, comedian) – 1984
  • Rihanna (singer) – 1988
  • Olivia Rodrigo (singer) – 2003


  • George Washington signed the Postal Act, creating the Federal Postal System with a per-mile rate structure– 1792
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City– 1872
  • Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premiered– 1877
  • An auto-airplane combination, Arrowbile, completed for testing– 1937
  • V-2 rocket launched fruit flies to 68-mile altitude– 1947
  • Carolyn Cummins gave birth to the first of her five children. The second was born in 1953, 3rd in 1956, 4th in 1961 and the 5th in 1966. All five children have the same birthday.– 1952
  • Astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. He made 3 trips around the earth in his Mercury-Atlas spacecraft, Friendship 7, in just under 5 hours– 1962
  • U.S.S.R.’s Mir space station launched– 1986
  • The Station nightclub experienced the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history, killing 100 people and injuring more than 200. The fire started when pyrotechnics set off by Great White, the rock band playing that night, lit flammable soundproofing foam behind the stage– 2003
  • Regeneration of Silene stenophylla from 30,000-year-old fruit tissue announced– 2012


  • A tornado tracked 15 miles from Shreveport to Abner, Louisiana, killed 8 people, and injured 50– 1912
  • The temperature in Los Angeles, California, hit 95 degrees F, a record high for the month of February– 1995

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