The Elwood School District recently received a treasure trove of documents relating to Elwood-John H. Glenn High School’s namesake, U.S. senator and famed astronaut John Glenn. The extraordinary pieces of living history came courtesy of Maryland resident Holly Geddes, the daughter of Willard Adams, the district’s very first Board of Education president.
Among the highlights is a November 1962 letter from then-Col. Glenn to Mr. Adams, explaining why a mail delay caused the astronaut to be unable to attend the dedication ceremony for the school building named after him. In this letter, Col. Glenn writes, “I deeply regret that I was unable to contact you earlier and thank you for the honor you have bestowed upon me. It is truly a great privilege that our accomplishments in space are considered to be worthy of commemoration.… We have had a large volume of mail, and that, coupled with our move from Langley Field, Virginia, to Houston, resulted in some mail difficulties.”
The artifacts – also including a copy of the 1963 book “Colonel John Glenn...A Man in Orbit,” commemorative first-day cover envelopes for the 1962 Project Mercury stamp and a July 1963 letter from President John F. Kennedy to Mr. Adams – will eventually be placed on display at the high school as pieces of living history.
“It is unfortunate that Sen. Glenn was never able to visit our school,” Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bossert said. “He would have been very proud of the outstanding way his name is represented each day by our students, faculty and staff.”