U.S. Astronaut John Glenn flew into rain-sodden Washington February 26 to receive a thunderous welcome?
Kennedy & Glenn exit plane on arrival Andrews Air Force Base
LS White House
Crowds outside White House
Kennedy & Glenn enter White House
LS White House
Glenn received keys to city
Crowds standing in rain
Color guard in procession
CU Glenn fixing plastic covering over knees
CU Glenn waving to crowd
Huge crowd outside Capitol
Crowded interior of House
Glenn enters to applause
Glenn on rostrum being applause
Glenn speaks S.O.F.
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Background: U.S. Astronaut John Glenn flew into rain-sodden Washington February 26 to receive a thunderous welcome from crowds in the streets and from a joint session of Congress. It was Glenn's first appearance in the Capital since making three orbits of the orbit aboard his Friendship 7 spacecraft February 20.
In the morning, Glenn and his family flew up from Florida with President Kennedy aboard the President's jet plane. A military guard of honour at Andrews Air Force base was first to welcome the astronaut to Washington. A flight by helicopter to the White House had to be cancelled because of heavy cloud and the journey was made by car. Press reporters, photographers and White House crowded the White House drive to welcome Glenn as he, his family and the President entered. A few minutes later Col. and Mrs. Glenn, their children David and Carolyn, accompanied by Vice President Johnson, emerged from the White House and climbed into an open car for the motor procession to the Capitol. In a brief ceremony outside the White House gates, Glenn was handed the keys to the city and the motorcade continued the two-mile drive. Despite driving rain Glenn sat on the back of the car the whole way, smiling broadly and waving to the crowd which, despite the weather, was estimated at a quarter of a million. Huddled under umbrellas and muffled in raincoats, the cheers were nevertheless warm and lusty as the procession, headed by a marine band, moved slowly along the traditional route for homecoming heroes - Pennsylvania Avenue - and up to the Capitol.
Huge crowds outside the House broke through police barriers as Glenn's motorcade approached, but at last he managed to leave the cheering crowds outside to be welcomed by prolonged applause from a joint session of Congress. Speaker of the House John McCormack introduced him briefly and then Glenn spoke to the House.