JOHN GLENN, AMERICAN HERO OF THE SPACE AGE
John Glenn, a freckle-faced son of Ohio who was hailed as a national hero and a symbol of the space age as the first American to orbit Earth, then became a national political figure for 24 years in the Senate, died on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio. He was 95.
Ohio State University announced his death. Mr. Glenn had recently been hospitalized at the university at the James Cancer Center, though Ohio State officials said at the time that admission there did not necessarily mean he had cancer. He had heart-valve replacement surgery in 2014 and a stroke around that time.
He had kept an office at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, which he helped found, and also had a home in Columbus.
In just five hours on Feb. 20, 1962, Mr. Glenn joined a select roster of Americans whose feats have seized the country’s imagination and come to embody a moment in its history, figures like Lewis and Clark, the Wright brothers and Charles Lindbergh.
To the America of the 1960s, Mr. Glenn was a clean-cut, good-natured, well-grounded Midwesterner, raised in Presbyterian rectitude, nurtured in patriotism and tested in war, who stepped forward to risk the unknown and succeeded spectacularly, lifting his country’s morale and restoring its self-confidence.
It was an anxious nation that watched and listened that February morning, as Mr. Glenn, 40 years old, a Marine Corps test pilot and one of the seven original American astronauts, climbed into Friendship 7, the tiny Mercury capsule atop an Atlas rocket rising from the concrete flats of Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The Cold War had long stoked fears of nuclear destruction, and the Russians seemed to be winning the contest with their unsettling ascent into outer space. Two Russians, Yuri A. Gagarin and Gherman S. Titov, had already orbited Earth the year before, overshadowing the feats of two Americans, Alan B. Shepard and Virgil I. Grissom, who had been launched only to the fringes of space.
What, people asked with rising urgency, had happened to the United States’ vaunted technology and can-do spirit?
The answer came at 9:47 a.m. Eastern time, when after weeks of delays the rocket achieved liftoff. It was a short flight, just three orbits. But when Mr. Glenn was safely back, flashing the world a triumphant grin, doubts were replaced by a broad, new faith that the United States could indeed hold its own against the Soviet Union in the Cold War and might someday prevail.
No flier since Lindbergh had received such a cheering welcome. Bands played. People cried with relief and joy. Mr. Glenn was invited to the White House by President John F. Kennedy and paraded up Broadway and across the land. A joint meeting of Congress stood and applauded vigorously as Mr. Glenn spoke at the Capitol.
In his political history of the space age, “…The Heavens and the Earth,” the author Walter A. McDougall described Mr. Glenn’s space mission as a “national catharsis unparalleled.”
Mr. Glenn was reluctant to talk about himself as a hero. “I figure I’m the same person who grew up in New Concord, Ohio, and went off through the years to participate in a lot of events of importance,” he said in an interview years later. “What got a lot of attention, I think, was the tenuous times we thought we were living in back in the Cold War. I don’t think it was about me. All this would have happened to anyone who happened to be selected for that flight.”
Mr. Glenn did not return to space for a long time. Kennedy thought him too valuable as a hero to risk losing in an accident. So Mr. Glenn resigned from the astronaut corps in 1964, became an executive in private industry and entered politics, serving four full terms as a Democratic senator from Ohio and in 1984 running unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Finally, 36 years after his Mercury flight, in the last months of his final Senate term, he got his wish for a return to orbit. Despite some criticism that his presence on the mission was a political payoff, a waste of money and of doubtful scientific merit, the hero of yesteryear brought out the crowds again, cheering out of nostalgia and enduring respect as he was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on Oct. 29, 1998. At 77, he became the oldest person to go into space.
In retirement from the Senate, Mr. Glenn lived with his wife of 73 years, Anna (he always called her Annie), in a suburb of Washington in addition to Columbus. Ohio State University is the repository of papers from his space and political careers.
“John always had the right stuff,” President Obama said in a statement on Thursday, “inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond — not just to visit, but to stay.”
The Making of a Hero
John Herschel Glenn Jr. was born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, the only son of a railroad conductor who also owned a plumbing business, and the former Clara Sproat. A few years later, the Glenns moved to New Concord, a small town in southeastern Ohio with a population of little more than 1,000.
“It was small but had a lot of patriotic feeling and parades on all the national holidays,” Mr. Glenn once said. “Wanting to do something for the country was just natural, growing up in a place like New Concord.”
He still had time to court his high school sweetheart, Anna Margaret Castor, the doctor’s daughter. It did not matter that she stammered; she was his girl, and he loved her. They married in April 1943, and he often called her “the real rock of the family.” From the time they came to public attention, and throughout the turbulence of spaceflight and politics, John and Anna Glenn each seemed the other’s center of gravity.
Not until much later did she undergo intensive therapy that virtually cured her stammer, enabling her even to give speeches in public.
Mr. Glenn is survived by his wife; two children, Carolyn Ann Glenn of St. Paul and John David Glenn of Berkeley, Calif.; and two grandsons, Daniel and Zach Glenn.
Mr. Glenn began his journey to fame in World War II. In 1939, he enrolled at Muskingum College in his hometown to study chemistry, but he took flying lessons on the side. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, he signed up for the Naval Aviation cadet program and after pilot training opted to join the Marines. As a fighter pilot, he flew 59 combat missions in the Pacific, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and other decorations.
Mr. Glenn saw more action in the Korean War, flying 90 combat missions and winning more medals. He put his life on the line again as a military test pilot in the early days of supersonic flight. In 1957, just months before the Soviet Union launched its first Sputnik satellite, he made the first transcontinental supersonic flight, piloting an F8U-1 Crusader from Los Angeles to New York in record time: 3 hours 23 minutes 8.4 seconds.
Then, in 1959, newly promoted to lieutenant colonel, he heeded a call for test pilots to apply to be astronauts for the fledgling National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He and six other pilots were selected in April of that year. (The original Mercury 7 included Mr. Glenn, Mr. Shepard, Mr. Grissom, Walter Schirra, Gordon Cooper, Deke Slayton and M. Scott Carpenter. Mr. Glenn was the last surviving one.)
All seven men were eager, competitive and ambitious, but none more so than Mr. Glenn. Tom Miller, a retired Marine general and close friend since they were rookie pilots in World War II, recalled that Mr. Glenn was so determined to be an astronaut that he applied weight to his head to compress his height down to the 5-foot-11-inch maximum for the first astronauts. “He wasn’t going to miss a trick,” Mr. Miller said. “He’d be sitting down reading with a big bunch of books sitting on his head.”
Patience, Then Liftoff
In his 1999 memoir, written with Nick Taylor, he admitted he was sorely disappointed when Mr. Shepard was tapped for the first flight. As the oldest and most articulate of the astronauts, Mr. Glenn had attracted a big share of the publicity. He said that he had “worked and studied hard dedicating myself to the program” and that he thought he had a “good shot” at being first. In a letter to a NASA official, Mr. Glenn wrote, “I thought I might have been penalized for speaking out for what I thought was the good of the program.”
At this time, as Mr. Glenn often recalled, he never anticipated that his orbital flight would be the one that most excited the public, satisfying the nation’s hunger for a hero.
Tom Wolfe wrote of that time in the best-selling 1979 book “The Right Stuff,” a phrase for coolness in the face of danger that has passed into the idiom. He described Mr. Glenn as excessively pious, scolding his fellow astronauts about their after-hours escapades while openly lobbying to be the first of them to fly.
“He looked like a balding and slightly tougher version of the cutest-looking freckle-faced country boy you ever saw,” Mr. Wolfe wrote. “He had a snub nose, light-hazel eyes, reddish-blond hair and a terrific smile.”
Mr. Glenn said he liked the book but not the 1983 movie based on it, in which he was portrayed by Ed Harris. “Most of his account was reasonably factual, although I was neither the pious saint nor the other guys the hellions he made them into,” he told Life magazine in 1998. “Hollywood made a charade out of the story and caricatures out of the people in it.”
The 1962 space mission came after two months of one postponement after another, sometimes for mechanical problems, often for bad weather. Once Mr. Glenn had to wait six hours, fully suited, in the cramped Friendship 7 capsule before officials called off the launch. But he projected confidence. “You fear the least what you know the most about,” he said.
On the 11th scheduled time, all was “go,” and the rocket lifted off from Pad 14 at Cape Canaveral. “Godspeed, John Glenn,” his fellow astronaut Scott Carpenter said through a microphone at mission control.
At the end of the first orbit, an automatic control mechanism failed, and Mr. Glenn took over manual control. He would see three sunsets in a brief time. He puzzled for a while about “fireflies” outside his window. NASA later determined that it was his urine and sweat, which was being dumped overboard and turned to frozen crystals glowing in sunlight.
A faulty warning light signaled that the capsule heat shield, designed to protect it in the fiery descent back to Earth, had come loose and might come off during re-entry. The signal was erroneous, but no one could be sure. Ground controllers ordered that a retrorocket unit attached under the heat shield by metal straps not be jettisoned after firing in order to give added protection and reduce the risk of premature detachment of the heat shield. This was Mr. Glenn’s first real clue that something was amiss.
As Friendship 7 plunged through the atmosphere, the astronaut’s recorded heartbeat raced as one of the metal straps came loose and banged on the side of the capsule.
“Right away, I could see flaming chunks flying by the window, and I thought the heat shield might be falling apart,” he wrote after the flight. “This was a bad moment. But I knew that if that was really happening, it would all be over shortly, and there was nothing I could do about it.”
The capsule splashed down in the Atlantic off the Bahamas, where a Navy destroyer was waiting. Mr. Glenn radioed, “My condition is good, but that was a real fireball, boy.”
In the flush of fame, Mr. Glenn toured the country publicizing the space program, visiting aerospace plants and waving to cheering crowds and signing autographs. But he always had his eye on another flight into space.
He kept asking NASA officials about a new flight assignment and was routinely stonewalled. Not yet, they said. Kennedy’s reservations about risking a hero’s life were disclosed years later.
To the Senate, and Beyond
One night in December 1962, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy invited the Glenns to dinner at his home in McLean, Va. In the course of the evening, the attorney general suggested that Mr. Glenn run for public office. With the backing of a powerful Kennedy, he might have a good chance at a Senate seat from Ohio in the 1964 election.
Mr. Glenn’s parents happened to be among the few Democrats in New Concord, and Mr. Glenn once recalled that he had developed an abiding interest in political affairs from his high school civics teacher, Harford Steele.
Mr. Glenn eventually took the advice, but had to quit the race after being seriously injured in a bathroom fall. He spent the next decade working as an executive of the Royal Crown Cola Company. He still had the space itch, though, and inquired about a possible place on one of the Apollo missions to the moon, but NASA gave him no encouragement.
“Yeah, I would have liked to go to the moon,” he said in later years. “But I didn’t want to stick around being the oldest astronaut in training just hoping to go to the moon. So I went on to other things, and that was a decision I lived with.”
After Robert Kennedy’s assassination in 1968, Mr. Glenn headed a bipartisan lobbying group called the Emergency Committee for Gun Control. President Lyndon B. Johnson later signed the Gun Control Act of 1968, placing some restrictions on firearms.
In 1970, Mr. Glenn ran again for the Senate, but lost in the Democratic primary to Howard M. Metzenbaum. Mr. Glenn won the primary four years later and breezed to victory in the general election, beginning a 24-year Senate career.
Over the years, Mr. Glenn earned the respect of Senate colleagues as an upright, candid and diligent legislator. Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, described Mr. Glenn as a “workhorse” who was especially well informed and a forceful voice on defense issues. “When he speaks, you know he’s speaking on a subject of which he has a command and a reason for speaking,” Mr. Graham said shortly before Mr. Glenn’s return to space.
He drew admiring audiences in his run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, but his wooden speaking style and lack of a cogent campaign message were blamed for his poor showing at the polls. After losses in several states, he dropped out of the race, which former Vice President Walter F. Mondale won before President Ronald Reagan overwhelmed him in the general election.
The one blemish on Mr. Glenn’s squeaky-clean political reputation came in the 1980s, when he was one of five senators present at a meeting with federal regulators concerning accusations of savings and loan association fraud against Charles H. Keating Jr., a former Ohioan. The meeting smacked of impropriety and political pressure. Because Mr. Glenn had no further contact with Mr. Keating, who eventually was sent to prison, the Senate decided that he did nothing deserving discipline.
As a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Mr. Glenn developed the medical rationale used in arguing his case for a return flight in space. He offered himself as a human guinea pig in tests of the physiological effects of space weightlessness, like bone-mass loss and cardiovascular, muscular and immune system changes, and how they seem to be comparable to the usual effects of aging.
Mr. Glenn’s return to space in 1998 drew criticism. But the new-old astronaut was not to be denied, and his heroic image, and reawakened memories of the early space age, attracted launching crowds on a scale not seen since astronauts were flying to the moon.
Still healthy and vigorous, though not as agile as in 1962, Mr. Glenn embarked on his second venture in space, as he said in an interview, to show the world that the lives of older people need not be dictated by the calendar.
A Flier Almost to the End
In recent years, honors continued to come his way: the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland was renamed the John H. Glenn Research Center.
In 2012, about a week before the 50th anniversary of the Friendship 7 flight, a reporter found the 90-year-old Mr. Glenn in full voice and clear mind, but regretting that he had sold his airplane the month before. Their aging knees had made it difficult for him and his wife to climb on the wing to get into the cabin of their twin-engine Beechcraft Baron. For years they had flown it on vacations and back and forth to Washington. Though his airplane was gone, Mr. Glenn was pleased to say several times that he still had a valid pilot’s license.
Mr. Glenn was a flier, almost to the end.
In one of the interviews at this time, he was reminded that Mr. Wolfe, the author, had recently judged him “the last true national hero America has ever had.”
An earlier version of this obituary, and an accompanying picture caption, misstated the time of the launch of Mr. Glenn’s orbital flight aboard Friendship 7. It was 9:47 a.m., not 2:47 p.m.
An earlier version of this obituary misstated part of the name of the college Mr. Glenn helped found at Ohio State University. It is the John Glenn College — not School — of Public Affairs.SOURCE
GREG LAKE, KING CRIMSON AND ELP STAR
8 December 2016
Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 69.
One of the founding fathers of progressive rock, the British musician is known for songs including In the Court of the Crimson King and his solo hit I Believe in Father Christmas.
He died on Wednesday after “a long and stubborn battle with cancer”, said his manager.
The news comes nine months after Lake’s band-mate Keith Emerson died.
Keyboardist Emerson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, coroners in the US said.
Lake’s manager Stewart Young wrote on Facebook: “Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer.
“Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been.”
Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “Music bows its head to acknowledge the passing of a great musician and singer, Greg Lake.”
“Another sad loss with the passing of Greg Lake,” wrote Rick Wakeman, keyboardist in prog rock band Yes.
“You left some great music with us my friend & so like Keith, you will live on.”
‘Greatest music made for love’
Born in Bournemouth, Lake was given his first guitar at the age of 12 and took lessons from a local tutor called Don Strike.
He formed a close friendship with fellow student Robert Fripp, with whom he created King Crimson in 1969.
Their debut album In the Court of the Crimson King featured such songs as 21st Century Schizoid Man.
It set a standard for progressive rock and received a glowing, well-publicised testimonial from The Who’s Pete Townshend, who called it “an uncanny masterpiece”.
But within a year, founding member Mike Giles quit and Lake refused to work with the band – although he stuck around long enough to sing on their second album, In the Wake of Poseidon, which was criticised for treading old ground.
‘Love not money’
The singer and bassist was then approached by Emerson, who had supported King Crimson on a North American tour and needed a singer for his new band.
Joined by Atomic Rooster drummer Carl Palmer, ELP made their live debut at the Guildhall in Plymouth in 1970 before giving a career-making performance at the Isle of Wight Festival.
Unusually, the band combined heavy rock riffs with a classical influence. They scored hit albums with Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery – many of them produced by Lake himself.
Tarkus, released in 1971, featured an opening track inspired by the fictional Tarkus character – a half-tank, half-armadillo creature that would appear on stage at gigs – that lasted more than 20 minutes.
The band went on to enjoy chart success in 1977 with their version of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man.
ELP’s ambitious light shows and on-stage theatrics were the epitome of ’70s rock excess, and several punk acts cited ELP as one of the bands they were reacting against.
But the band sold more than 48 million records, and Lake continued to be an influential and popular touring musician even after the band wound down in the late 1970s.
In 2010, Kanye West repopularised the King Crimson song 21st Century Schizoid Man when he sampled it in his hit song, Power.
“The greatest music is made for love, not for money,” Lake is quoted as saying on his official website.
“The early ELP albums were pioneering because there is no standing still; time is always moving forward.”
LEONARD B. SAND, JUDGE IN LANDMARK YONKERS SEGREGATION CASE
Leonard B. Sand, a federal judge in New York who presided over a 27-year landmark case in which he found that city officials in Yonkers had intentionally segregated public housing and schools along racial lines, died on Saturday at his home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. He was 88.
His death was confirmed by his son David.
The Yonkers case, which received national attention, was hardly the only lawsuit in which local governments in the Northeast had been charged with racial discrimination, but it was one of the most bitterly contested.
The charges against Yonkers were brought in a lawsuit that the Justice Department filed in 1980 in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The case was assigned to Judge Sand, who had joined the court two years earlier.
Though Judge Sand presided over other prominent cases in his long judicial tenure, including terrorism and financial fraud cases, the marathon Yonkers litigation loomed largest in defining his public image.
Some applauded him as rightly following precedents when, in 1986, he ordered that the city remedy the housing portion of its violations by adopting a plan for building up to 1,000 units of low- and moderate-income housing in predominantly white neighborhoods.
One coalition of civil rights and religious groups cited “his courageous effort to enforce the rule of law in Yonkers.”
Critics, however, viewed him as engaging in “social engineering,” and some called him a “judicial tyrant.” Yonkers officials, who denied they were responsible for the segregation, denounced the judge, as did many white residents, some of whom picketed his weekend home in northern Westchester County.
The clash of wills was dramatized last year in the HBO mini-series “Show Me a Hero,” based on the book of the same title by Lisa Belkin, a former reporter for The New York Times. Bob Balaban portrayed Judge Sand.
Judge Sand, who had a reputation as soft-spoken and patient on the bench, said in an interview with The Times in 1988: “I like to think I have a reasonable perspective on what a judge’s role is in our society. I don’t let it get under my skin. I have a job to do. I think I know what that job is. I find my work satisfying.”
He had been in private law practice in New York City for nearly 20 years when President Jimmy Carter nominated him for the federal court in Manhattan in 1978. After the Justice Department filed its lawsuit against Yonkers — the N.A.A.C.P. joined as a plaintiff later — the judge tried over the next three and a half years to get the parties to reach a settlement, but the effort failed.
After conducting a trial, he ruled in 1985 that “the extreme concentration of subsidized housing that exists in southwest Yonkers today is the result of a pattern and practice of racial discrimination by city officials, pursued in response to constituent pressures to select or support only sites that would preserve existing patterns of racial segregation.”
That pattern, he said, had contributed over three decades to the 1980 census finding that 80 percent of the city’s minority-group population lived in southwest Yonkers. And, he said, it contributed to a segregated school system in which minority students attended “generally inferior facilities” that provided a lesser “quality of educational opportunity.”
But his housing order was fought for two years by what he called “obstructive and dilatory tactics,” and in August 1988 he imposed the fines: $100 the first day, doubling each subsequent day. Within a month they would total more than the city’s annual budget, $337 million.
An appeals court capped the fines at $1 million a day, but they would still be crippling, and in September the City Council voted to accept the order when two of the defiant Council members reversed their previous votes. But with further litigation over financing and sites, the last of the required housing was not completed — and the case not concluded — until 2007.
Other widely noted decisions by Judge Sand included a 1990 ruling that overturned a ban on panhandling in the New York City subway system. It was the first time a federal court found that panhandling was a free-speech right protected by the First Amendment.
“A true test of one’s commitment to constitutional principles is the extent to which recognition is given to the rights of those in our midst who are the least affluent, least powerful and least welcome,” Judge Sand wrote.
Though Judge Sand said the begging could be restricted by keeping it out of the subway cars, an appeals court reversed his ruling and kept the systemwide ban intact.
Judge Sand was one of the authors of “Modern Federal Jury Instructions,” which since its publication three decades ago has become a leading treatise in federal courts on what judges should tell juries about the law before they begin to deliberate.
Leonard Burke Solomon was born in the Bronx on May 24, 1928. His father, Frank Solomon, was a textile manufacturer, and his mother, the former Dora Sado, was involved in the business. He changed his name to Sand as a young man.
In the 1950s Mr. Sand was an assistant United States attorney in Manhattan and an assistant to the United States solicitor general. In 1955, he married Ann Sulzberger, a first cousin of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the former publisher of The Times.
Besides his son David, his immediate survivors include his wife; another son, Robert; a daughter, Peggy Sand; and six grandchildren.
Perhaps Judge Sand’s most prominent criminal trial was that in 2001 of four terrorists who were convicted of conspiring in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa, which killed 224 people. Two defendants then faced a death penalty hearing, which resulted in life sentences after the jury could not agree on imposing a death sentence.
Daniel L. Stein, a former law clerk to Judge Sand, said the judge recalled years later that in a special verdict form, some jurors noted that the terrorists “were suicide bombers, so why give them what they want?”
Mr. Stein said Judge Sand told him: “Juries get it right. There’s a lot of wisdom in a well-instructed jury.”