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Cambridge and New Concord to Host Three-Day John Glenn Centennial Celebration 
John Glenn Centennial Celebration 

The cities of Cambridge and New Concord are commemorating the life and accomplishments of John H. Glenn Jr. during a three-day centennial celebration July 16-18, 2021. Highlights of the event include presentations from Ohio space shuttle astronaut Don Thomas, Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Connie Schultz. 

John Glenn, astronaut, senator and civic leader, was born in Cambridge and raised in New Concord. The two communities are planning a weekend full of events in recognition of what would be his 100th birthday on July 18, 2021. Events range from activities for families and kids to presentations from an Ohio astronaut, authors and elected officials. Museum and walking tours, film screenings, a parade and a race will round out the weekend festivities.  

Ohioan Don Thomas was six years old when he saw Glenn make his first trip into space. Thirty-two years later, Thomas headed to space aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on his first of four space shuttle missions.  

“John Glenn was such an inspirational role model for me and many other young students across Ohio and the rest of the country,” said Thomas. “So, it is with great honor and excitement that I look forward to attending the John Glenn Centennial Celebration and hopefully inspiring future astronauts.” 

The John Glenn Centennial Celebration begins July 16 with Living History Tours at the John & Annie Glenn Museum in New Concord from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a special presentation from astronaut Don Thomas at 7 p.m. in Cambridge City Park. 

July 17 includes events throughout the day, which begin at 8 a.m. with the Friendship 7-Miler Race from Cambridge to New Concord. Runners can register online. Several events and venues are open throughout the day, including: 

  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Photo exhibit of John Glenn's 1962 homecoming parade 

  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Free walk-through tours of John & Annie Glenn Museum 

  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Free admission to the William Rainey Harper Cabin Museum 

  • 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: WACO Biplane rides  

The Friendship 7-Mile Parade from Cambridge to New Concord kicks off at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Cambridge at the Guernsey County Courthouse with featured speakers including astronaut Don Thomas, Ohio U.S. Representative Bill Johnson, and State Representative Adam Holmes. The parade travels National Road (Rt. 40) to New Concord, ending with featured speakers Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Connie Schultz, close friends of John and Annie Glenn. Dr. Trevor Brown, Dean of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University; Dr. Susan Hasseler, President of Muskingum University; Dr. Barb Hansen, Executive Director of the John & Annie Glenn Museum; and Dave Adams, Superintendent of East Muskingum Local School District, also will provide remarks. Organizations can still register here to participate in the parade.  

Additional New Concord events and activities throughout the day include: 

  • 10 a.m.: Historical walking tour of New Concord 

  • 10 – 10:45 a.m.: Interview with Alice George, author of The Last American Hero 

  • 10 – 11:30 a.m.: Children's activities including old-fashioned games and pop bottle rocket launches 

  • 11 – 11:45 a.m.: Eleanor O’Rangers presentation on “Mercury Astronaut Training” 

  • 1 – 3 p.m.: COSI Connects Curbside 

  • 1 – 4 p.m.: Rocket Car rides  

  • 1:30 – 2 p.m.: Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds 

  • 2 – 3 p.m.: Space shuttle astronaut Don Thomas presentation 

  • 3 – 3:30 p.m.: Screening of “The John Glenn Story” 

  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.: Author panel with Jeff Shesol, Don Thomas, and Alice George 

  • 4:30 – 5 p.m. – Screening of “The John Glenn Story” 

  • 7 p.m.: Screening of “Project Mercury” (Cambridge) 

Beginning at 11 a.m., WMCO 90.7 FM will announce the parade as well as air the post parade program, the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds performance, and the Don Thomas presentation. 

On Sunday, July 18, there will be a photo exhibit of John Glenn's 1962 homecoming parade, screenings of “Friendship 7” at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. at the John & Annie Glenn Museum, and free walk-through tours at the John & Annie Glenn Museum. 

While most of the events are free, there are a few that do have a cost to participate. For more information about the three-day celebration, the location of each event and the cost for events, click here.  

In addition to the three-day celebration, there are commemorative events occurring in the region throughout the month of July. For a list of these events, visit the Zanesville Convention & Visitors Bureau website. Also, to celebrate Ohio’s rich space and aviation history, people can experience the To the Moon and Back Road Trip, curated by Ohio. Find It Here. 

The John Glenn Centennial Celebration is made possible through sponsorships and partnerships with organizations throughout the region. The planning task force is still soliciting donations to support the celebration. Interested organizations and individuals may donate through the Muskingum County Community Foundation’s website

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