Inside Donald Trump’s obsession with being Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Inside Donald Trump’s obsession with being Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

(CNN)On Friday night, Donald Trump proclaimed that he would probably be Time’s “Person of the Year” for 2017 — except that he didn’t really want the honor.

“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year,’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,” Trump tweeted. “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”
That statement wasn’t, strictly speaking, true.
“The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year,” a Time spokeswoman said in a statement. “Time does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”
“Amazing,” tweeted Time’s chief content officer, Alan Murray. “Not a speck of truth here — Trump tweets he ‘took a pass’ at being named TIME’s person of the year.”
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If any of this shocks you, you haven’t been paying attention. In fact, Trump’s focus on Time magazine — and especially the publication’s choice for man/person of the year — is a long-running obsession that predates his political career.
“I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn’t include me in their Top 100…,” Trump tweeted in October 2012.
He sounded a similar note the following April. “The Time Magazine list of the 100 Most Influential People is a joke and stunt of a magazine that will, like Newsweek, soon be dead. Bad list!,” he tweeted. (Trump didn’t make the list. This fact should not stun you.)
Despite sending a bevy of other tweets between 2012 and 2015 deriding Time for being “paper thin” and “really flimsy,” the magazine returned to Trump’s good graces in 2015 when his out-of-nowhere presidential campaign landed him the cover.
Later that year, however, Trump returned to his previous disdain — after, in his mind, being snubbed for person of the year when Time chose German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite,” Trump tweeted. “They picked person who is ruining Germany.”
(One tweet on not winning Time’s person of the year wasn’t enough for Trump. On the same day as the tweet above — December 9, 2015 — he also tweeted this: “Thank you @oreillyfactor for your wonderful editorial as to why I should have been @TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. You should run Time!”)
Trump’s yo-yoing views about Time spun back positive in early 2016 when he made the cover again. “Remember, get TIME magazine!,” he tweeted. “I am on the cover. Take it out in 4 years and read it again! Just watch…”
Then, following his election victory, Trump was — finally, in his mind — named person of the Year.He tweeted: “Thank you to Time Magazine and Financial Times for naming me “Person of the Year” – a great honor!”
Trump’s interest/obsession with Time and its “Person of the Year” award goes so deep that in at least five of his golf clubs there hung a Time magazine cover featuring a picture of a cross-armed Trump and these words: “Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!”
Why does Trump care so much about Time — a magazine that, like all national magazines, has been hit hard by the fracturing of the media and the changing advertising landscape?
Because all of Trump’s ideas about the media were formed in the 1980s. And at that time, Time was a massively important part of the culture. It was a tastemaker — and breaker. And, most importantly for Trump, it had a cover. A cover that, if you were on it, signified success in the broader culture.
That sort of recognized success is what Trump has spent his whole life craving — and disdaining when he doesn’t receive it. He views himself as someone who, despite his successes and wealth, has never been accepted into the clubs and communities that he covets. He is forever the guy with his face pressed against the glass, watching the people he wants to be friends with eat, drink and be merry in clubs they won’t let him into.
Making the cover of Time was — and is — to Trump a recognition by those very elites that he is one of them. His vitriol when not chosen for person of the year is entirely born of the rejection you feel when someone you want to acknowledge you fails to do so.
If Time magazine was irrelevant and beneath him — as Trump’s latest I-could-probably-have-been-person-of-the-year tweet wants to make you believe — why would he hang fake Time covers at his clubs? Why would he lash out when not chosen in 2015? Why would he urge people to go buy the magazine when he did make the cover?
Trump cares so much about Time and its cover that he wants you to think he doesn’t care at all. Don’t believe it.

Time Magazine: Donald ‘The Egotistical Stolen Glory ‘FAKE NEWS’ Fraud’ Trump’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

A Time Magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It’s fake.

June 27 at 2:08 PM
Breaking down Trump’s fake TIME magazine cover
The Washington Post’s David A. Fahrenthold breaks down a fake TIME magazine cover that is displayed in at least two of President Trump’s golf resorts. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

This article has been updated.

The framed copy of Time Magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump’s golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” the big headline said. Above the Time nameplate, there was another headline in all caps: “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS . . . EVEN TV!”

This cover — dated March 1, 2009 — looks like an impressive memento from Trump’s pre-presidential career. To club members eating lunch, or golfers waiting for a pro-shop purchase, it seemed to be a signal that Trump had always been a man who mattered. Even when he was just a reality-TV star, Trump was the kind of star who got a cover story in Time.

But that wasn’t true.

The Time cover is a fake.

There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time Magazine. And there was no issue at all in 2009 that had Trump on the cover.

In fact,the cover on display at Trump’s clubs, observed recently by a reporter visiting one of the properties, contains several small but telling mistakes. Its red border is skinnier than that of a genuine Time cover, and, unlike the real thing, there is no thin white border next to the red. The Trump cover’s secondary headlines are stacked on the right side — on a real Time cover, they would go across the top.

And it has two exclamation points. Time headlines don’t yell.

“I can confirm that this is not a real TIME cover,” Kerri Chyka, a spokeswoman for Time Inc., wrote in an email to The Washington Post.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Time said that the magazine had asked the Trump Organization to remove the phony cover from the walls where it was on display.

So how did Trump — who spent an entire campaign and much of his presidency accusing the mainstream media of producing “fake news” — wind up decorating his properties with a literal piece of phony journalism?

The Trump Organization did not respond to questions this week about who made the cover and why it was displayed at Trump clubs. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say whether Trump had known the cover wasn’t real.

“We couldn’t comment on the decor at Trump Golf clubs one way or another,” Sanders wrote in an email.

The cover seems to fit a broader pattern for Trump, who has often boasted of his appearances on Time’s cover and adorned his Trump Tower office with images of himself from magazines and newspapers. Trump has made claims about himself — about his charitable giving, his business success, even the size of the crowd at his inauguration that are not supported by the facts.

In this case, Trump’s golf clubs might seem like a place where he wouldn’t need to stretch the truth. Reality is flattering enough. The clubs are monuments to Trump’s success — they bear his name and are filled with his images. But, still, his staff added an extra trophy that was phony.

It is not clear who created this fake Time cover — or why.

Its date might be a clue: March 1, 2009, was the season debut of Trump’s show “The Celebrity Apprentice.” But a transcript of that show offers no answers. In that episode, various B-list celebrities competed to sell cupcakes, and Trump fired comedian Andrew Dice Clay for poor performance. Nobody mentioned Time Magazine.

While it’s not difficult to mock up a fake cover using graphic-design software, whoever made this one actually sought out real Time headlines, to add to the fake.

There are secondary headlines on the Trump cover that tout stories on President Barack Obama, climate change and the financial crisis. Two of those are taken from a real March 2, 2009, issue of Time, which featured actress Kate Winslet on the cover. But the issue makes no mention of Trump.

The Post found that the fake cover had been hung in at least four of Trump’s 17 golf clubs.

At Trump’s resort in Doral, Fla., outside Miami, the fake image hangs in two prominent spots.

In the pro shop, it shares a wall with 11 other framed magazine pages — all of them highlighting Trump, another member of the Trump family or a Trump golf course.

Among the covers with Trump’s face on them, the Time cover looks like one of the most impressive. The others are old — such as a 1984 cover of GQ — or from less prominent titles, such as “Fairways + Greens” magazine and TV Guide Canada. Those two publications are out of print.

A copy of the fake cover also hangs in Champions, the Doral resort’s sports bar. It faces a framed cover of Fortune magazine from 2004, showing Trump’s face with the headline “Trumped.” That one is real.

In Virginia, the phony Time cover hangs on the wall of the member’s dining room at the Trump golf course in suburban Loudoun County, near Washington. Trump has visited that club more frequently since moving into the White House. In early June, the president ate lunch in that dining room with football star Peyton Manning and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn).

A photo taken during their lunch shows that Trump’s chair faced the fake Time cover.

At the same club, Trump’s staff put up a historical marker declaring that there had been a Civil War battle on the site — and that the adjacent Potomac River became a “River of Blood.” Historians say this battle never happened. The marker was first reported by the New York Times.

The Time cover also appears to have been hung up at Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, in western Ireland. Trump bought the club in 2014. Photos posted on TripAdvisor show it on the wall of a dining room. But when a reporter visited the club this past weekend, it was gone.

A bartender later found it in the manager’s office. Officials at the club could not explain why it had been moved.

And at Trump’s Turnberry club in Scotland, employees said they recognized the cover. It had been added after Trump bought the course in 2014, said the employees, who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment to the media. One employee said the fake cover had previously hung in the resort’s pub, called “The Duel in the Sun” after a famous golf match played at Turnberry in 1977.

But, she said, the cover was taken down a few weeks ago.

“We used to have a Time Magazine cover up — aye, it was there for ages and ages, as long as I’ve been here. I know the one you’re on about,” the employee said. “But they came and took it down a while back.”

In its place, the club had hung up an old-timey photo of the course.

Club officials did not respond to queries about why it was taken down. The employee said it was part of a general reduction in photos of Trump.

“We certainly have been hearing more grumbling about all the stuff like that up on the walls since his election,” the employee said. “From Americans, mostly, funny enough. That’s why we all assumed they started taking some of his photos off the walls.”

“But it was just a guess. I don’t actually have a Scooby,” the employee added, using an expression that means, “I don’t have a clue.”

The Post also looked for the fake cover at two Trump courses in the United States that are open to the public, in the Bronx and in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. It was not on display at either. The rest of Trump’s courses are members-only, making it difficult to get inside to look at the decor.

The image does not appear to be among the many framed magazine covers that adorn Trump’s old office in Trump Tower, based on photos of the office.

One thing that is clear, from the president’s past statements, is that he views the cover of Time as a significant honor.

Trump has bragged that he’s been on more Time covers than anyone. “I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time Magazine,” he said during a January speech at CIA headquarters.

That is wrong. Richard Nixon has appeared on far more than Trump.

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In a 2016 interview, when Trump was a candidate, he offered a mental tally of how many times he had appeared on the magazine’s cover.

“I think I was on the cover of Time Magazine twice in my life and like six times in the last number of months. So you tell me, which is more important, real estate or politics, okay?” Trump said. “I have six for politics and I have two for real estate or whatever they put me on for.”

But that count was wrong.

According to Time Magazine’s tally, Trump had been on the cover only once before he got into politics. That was in January 1989.

Francisco Alvarado in Doral, Nash Riggins in Turnberry, Yvonne Gordon in Doonbeg, Philip Bump in New York, Rob Kuznia in Rancho Palos Verdes and Alice Crites in Washington contributed to this report.

New Fossils Indicate People Have Been Around Way Longer Than We Thought

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

New Fossils Indicate People Have Been Around Way Longer Than We Thought

3:28 PM ET

(NEW YORK) — How long has our species been around? New fossils from Morocco push the evidence back by about 100,000 years.

The bones, about 300,000 years old, were unearthed thousands of miles from the previous record-holder, found in fossil-rich eastern Africa. The new discovery reveals people from an early stage of our species’ evolution, with a mix of modern and more primitive traits.

“They are not just like us,” said Jean-Jacques Hublin, one of the scientists reporting the find. But they had “basically the face you could meet on the train in New York.”

Coupled with other evidence, the Moroccan fossils suggest that Homo sapiens may have reached its modern-day form in more than one place within Africa, said Hublin, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the College of France in Paris.

Previously, the oldest known fossils clearly from Homo sapiens were from Ethiopia, at about 195,000 years old.

It’s not clear just when or where Homo sapiens came on the scene in Africa. Hublin said he thinks an earlier stage of development preceded the one revealed by his team’s discovery.

We evolved from predecessors who had differently shaped skulls and often heavier builds, but were otherwise much more like us than, say, the ape-men that came before them. Our species lived at the same time as some related ones, like Neanderthals, but only we survive.

Hublin and others described the new findings in two papers released Wednesday by the journal Nature. The discovery could help illuminate how our species evolved, Chris Stringer and Julia Galway-Witham of the Natural History Museum in London wrote in a Nature commentary.

The Moroccan specimens were found between 2007 and 2011 and include a skull, a jaw and teeth, along with stone tools. Combined with other bones that were found there decades ago but not correctly dated, the fossil collection represents at least five people, including young adults, an adolescent and a child of around 8 years old. Analysis shows their brain shape was more elongated than what people have today.

“In the last 300,000 years, the main story is the change of the brain,” Hublin said.

When these ancient people lived, the site in Morocco was a cave that might have served as a hunting camp, where people butchered and ate gazelles and other prey. They used fire and their tools were made of flint from about 25 miles (40 kilometers) away.

So where did the fully modern human body develop? The researchers say evidence suggests primitive forms of Homo sapiens had already widely spread throughout Africa by around 300,000 years ago. The different populations may have exchanged beneficial genetic mutations and behaviors, gradually nudging each other toward a more modern form of the species, Hublin said. In this way, he said in an interview, modern Homo sapiens may have arisen in more than one place.

So if there’s a Garden of Eden, he said, it’s the continent as a whole.

Some experts who didn’t participate in the research called that idea possible, although not yet demonstrated. But John Shea, an anthropologist at Stony Brook University in New York, said it’s more useful to think of the different local populations as a single one, connected the same way a big city is connected by subway stops.

“These are parts of a network,” through which ideas and genes flowed, he said.

Shea said it made sense to find such old traces of early Homo sapiens in northwestern Africa. He agreed that it doesn’t mean our species first appeared there.

“When it comes to evidence for human origins in northwest Africa versus eastern Africa versus southern Africa, it’s a tie,” he wrote in an email.

Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History said the Morocco fossils “appear to reflect the very early transition to Homo sapiens, very possibly denoting the outset of the lineage to which all people belong.”

The site is about 34 miles (55 kilometers) southeast of the coastal city of Safi, northwest of Marrakech. Its age was determined chiefly by analyzing bits of flint found there, and the authors concluded they were around 315,000 years old. Hublin said that since a different method suggested a younger age for the site, he considers the bones to be about 300,000 years old.

Richard Roberts of the University of Woollongong in Australia, an expert in determining ages of ancient sites, supported that conclusion.

“I’d say the authors have presented pretty convincing evidence for the presence of early modern humans at this site by 300,000 years ago and perhaps a little earlier,” Roberts wrote in an email.

Harrison Ford Almost Lands His Plane On Wrong Runway: On top of A Loaded American Airlines Jet

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

Harrison Ford Nearly Piloted His Plane Into a Passenger Airliner at L.A. Airport

5:37 PM Eastern

Harrison Ford was nearly involved in a serious accident while piloting his private plane on Monday, NBC News reports.

Ford, an aviation enthusiast who has been piloting since the 1990s, was attempting to land his single-engine plane at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif. Air traffic controllers instructed the actor to land on a designated runway, but he mistakenly aimed for a taxiway instead where an American Airlines plane full of 116 people was parked. His plane just managed to pass over the top of the commercial airliner.

The American Airlines flight took off safely just minutes later. Ford was recorded asking the air traffic controllers, “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?”

The Federal Aviation Administration reportedly told NBC News that the “controllers gave Ford the proper landing instructions and that he read them back.” The FAA is investigating the incident, according to NBC News.

Ford, 74, has been involved in a number of crashes and near-accidents over the years but he was credited with saving “several lives” by avoiding crashing his plane into a populated area during a 2015 crash onto a Los Angeles golf course, NBC reported. The actor has amassed a collection of vintage aircraft throughout his career.

President Trump Threatens Mexico’s President To Send U.S. Troops Into Mexico

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME MAGAZINE)

President Trump Threatens to Send U.S. Troops to Mexico to Take Care of ‘Bad Hombres’

6:44 PM Eastern

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump threatened in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart to send U.S. troops to stop “bad hombres down there” unless the Mexican military does more to control them itself, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Associated Press.

The excerpt of the call did not make clear who exactly Trump considered “bad hombres,” — drug cartels, immigrants, or both — or the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s response.

Still, the excerpt offers a rare and striking look at how the new president is conducting diplomacy behind closed doors. Trump’s remark suggest he is using the same tough and blunt talk with world leaders that he used to rally crowds on the campaign trail.

A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

The phone call between the leaders was intended to patch things up between the new president and his ally. The two have had a series of public spats over Trump’s determination to have Mexico pay for the planned border wall, something Mexico steadfastly refuses to agree to.

“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt seen by the AP. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

A person with access to the official transcript of the phone call provided an excerpt to The Associated Press. The person gave it on condition of anonymity because the administration did not make the details of the call public.

A Mexican reporter’s similar account of Trump’s comments was published on a Mexican website Tuesday. The reports described Trump as humiliating Pena Nieto in a confrontation conversation.

Mexico’s foreign relations department denied that account, saying it “is based on absolute falsehoods.”

“The assertions that you make about said conversation do not correspond to the reality of it,” the statement said. “The tone was constructive and it was agreed by the presidents to continue working and that the teams will continue to meet frequently to construct an agreement that is positive for Mexico and for the United States.”

Trump has used the phrase “bad hombres” before. In an October presidential debate, he vowed to get rid the U.S. of “drug lords” and “bad people.”

“We have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out,” he said. The phrase ricocheted on social media with Trump opponents saying he was denigrating immigrants.

Trump’s comment was in line with the new administration’s bullish stance on foreign policy matters in general, and the president’s willingness to break long-standing norms around the globe.

Before his inauguration, Trump spoke to the president of Taiwan, breaking long-standing U.S. policy and irritating China. His temporary ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, aimed at reviewing screening procedures to lessen the threat of extremist attacks, has caused consternation around the world.

But nothing has created the level of bickering as the border wall, a centerpiece of his campaign. Mexico has consistently said it would not pay for the wall and opposes it. Before the phone call, Pena Nieto canceled a planned visit to the United States.

The fresh fight with Mexico last week arose over trade as the White House proposed a 20 percent tax on imports from the key U.S. ally to finance the wall after Pena Nieto abruptly scrapped his Jan. 31 trip to Washington.

The U.S. and Mexico conduct some $1.6 billion a day in cross-border trade, and cooperate on everything from migration to anti-drug enforcement to major environmental issues.

Trump tasked his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner — a real estate executive with no foreign policy experience — with managing the ongoing dispute, according to an administration official with knowledge of the call.

At a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May last week, Trump described his call with Pena Nieto as “friendly.”

In a statement, the White House said the two leaders acknowledged their “clear and very public differences” and agreed to work through the immigration disagreement as part of broader discussions on the relationship between their countries.

__

Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.

President Trump’s Voter Fraud Expert Was Registered to Vote in Three States

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME MAGAZINE)

 

President Trump’s Voter Fraud Expert Was Registered to Vote in Three States

8:56 PM Eastern
(SAN FRANCISCO) — A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election, the Associated Press has learned.

Gregg Phillips, whose unsubstantiated claim that the election was marred by 3 million illegal votes was tweeted by the president, was listed on the rolls in Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, according to voting records and election officials in those states. He voted only in Alabama in November, records show.

In a post earlier this month, Phillips described “an amazing effort” by volunteers tied to True the Vote, an organization whose board he sits on, who he said found “thousands of duplicate records and registrations of dead people.”

Trump has made an issue of people who are registered to vote in more than one state, using it as one of the bedrock of his overall contention that voter fraud is rampant in the U.S. and that voting by 3 to 5 million immigrants illegally in the country cost him the popular vote in November.

The AP found that Phillips was registered in Alabama and Texas under the name Gregg Allen Phillips, with the identical Social Security number. Mississippi records list him under the name Gregg A. Phillips, and that record includes the final four digits of Phillips’ Social Security number, his correct date of birth and a prior address matching one once attached to Gregg Allen Phillips. He has lived in all three states.

At the time of November’s presidential election, Phillips’ status was “inactive” in Mississippi and suspended in Texas. Officials in both states told the AP that Phillips could have voted, however, by producing identification and updating his address at the polls.

Citing concerns about voters registered in several states, the president last week called for a major investigation into his claim of voter fraud, despite his campaign lawyer’s conclusion that the 2016 election was “not tainted.”

“When you look at the people that are registered, dead, illegal and two states, and some cases maybe three states, we have a lot to look into,” Trump said in an ABC interview.

Reached by telephone Monday, Phillips said he was unaware of his multiple registrations but asked, “Why would I know or care?”

“Doesn’t that just demonstrate how broken the system is?” he asked. “That is not fraud — that is a broken system. We need a national ID that travels with people.”

Phillips has been in the national spotlight since Nov. 11, when he tweeted without evidence that his completed analysis of voter registrations concluded the “number of non-citizen votes exceeded 3 million.”

Thousands of people liked and retweeted the claim, which led to a viral article three days later on InfoWars.com, a site known to traffic in conspiracy theories.

Phillips also has previously tweeted about the dangers of “inactive voters” being able to vote in U.S. elections. “There is already law that compels states to remove inactive voters. Many don’t,” Phillips tweeted Nov. 29.

According to media reports, five Trump family members or top administration officials also were registered to vote in two states during the 2016 election — chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon; Press Secretary Sean Spicer; Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin; Tiffany Trump, the president’s youngest daughter; and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser.

The Houston-based True the Vote has challenged the validity of voter rolls in numerous states. On Friday, Phillips tweeted that the conservative group “will lead the analysis” of widespread voter fraud, and suggested in a CNN interview that it might release the underlying data in a few months.

Shortly after Phillips appeared on CNN on Friday, Trump tweeted: “Look forward to seeing the final results of VoteStand. Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3,000,000 votes were illegal. We must do better!”

___

AP reporters Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Mississippi, and Kim Chandler in Montgomery, Alabama, contributed to this report

John Glenn: A True American Hero: Astronaut, Senator, Dies At 95

 

How John Glenn Became an Astronaut, as Told in 1962

March 2, 1962
Cover Credit: BORIS ARTZYBASHEFFThe March 2, 1962, cover of TIME 
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME MAGAZINE)

The history-making pilot, astronaut and Senator has died at 95

Astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and the third in space, died Thursday. A former U.S. Senator from Ohio, he was 95.

Glenn landed on the cover of the March 2, 1962, issue of TIME after circling the globe three times in 4 hours and 56 minutes—at speeds of more than 17,000 mph—on Feb. 20, 1962.

The achievement came 10 months after Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space and made one full orbit around Earth (April 12, 1961) and nine months after Alan Shepard became the first American in space (May 5, 1961), followed by Gus Grissom (July 21, 1961). Thus, his mission was a critical step in the American mission to win the Cold War in space by fulfilling President John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s commitment to “achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

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TIME launched its profile of Glenn by pointing out that the grandeur of the undertaking was quite matched by the affect of the man: “In his flight across the heavens, John Glenn was a latter-day Apollo, flashing through the unknown, sending his cool observations and random comments to the earth in radio thunderbolts, acting as though orbiting the earth were his everyday occupation. Back on earth, Glenn seemed to be quite a different fellow—an enormously appealing man, to be sure, but as normal as blueberry pie.”

The Ohio native’s life had indeed started out in complete normalcy: he spent his time playing football and basketball, and reading Buck Rogers. He later joined the Marine Corps, becoming a decorated test pilot and a combat flyer, earning the rank of colonel. (Ted Williams, the legendary Red Sox left fielder who was also a Marine pilot, told TIME, “The man is crazy,” referring to the way he apparently liked to show off his flying skill in dangerous stunts.) But, though his achievements as a pilot were notable, as a career it was still within the range of ordinary.

So how did he get to be an astronaut? TIME explained:

Early in his career, Glenn developed the art of “sniveling.” Explains Marine Lieut. Colonel Richard Rainforth, who flew beside Glenn in both World War II and Korea: “Sniveling, among pilots, means to work yourself into a program, whether it happens to be your job or not. Sniveling is perfectly legitimate, and Johnny is a great hand at it.” In 1957 Glenn sniveled the Marines into letting him try to beat the speed of sound from coast to coast. Flying an F8U, Glenn failed by nine minutes, but he did knock 23 1/2 min. off the coast-to-coast speed record by covering the distance in 3 hr. 23 min. at an average speed of 726 m.p.h.

Then, in 1959, Glenn resolutely set out to snivel his way into the toughest program of all: Project Mercury. He started with two handicaps: he lacked a college degree, and, at 37, he was considered to be an old man. But Glenn managed to get permission to go along as an “observer” with one prime candidate of the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics. When the candidate failed an early test, recalls Rainforth, “Johnny stepped up, chest high, and offered himself as a candidate. They took him.”

…Candidate Glenn and 510 others were run through a wringer of mental and physical tests. Doctors charted their brain waves, skewered their hands with electrodes to pick up the electrical impulses that would tell how quickly their muscles responded to nerve stimulation. Glenn held up tenaciously under tests of heat and vibration, did especially well with problems of logical reasoning. Says Dr. Stanley White, a Project Mercury physician: “Glenn is a guy who lives by facts.”

To the surprise of no one who ever knew him, Glenn was one of the seven former test pilots who were picked to become the nation’s first astronauts.

In terms of what it felt like to be in space, he reported “no ill effects at all” from zero gravity and described weightlessness as “something you could get addicted to.” It was also “hot” inside the Friendship 7 capsule at times; at one point, the temperature hit 108º in the cabin. He saw four “beautiful” sunsets and said nightfall in space is akin to nightfall in the desert “on a very clear, brilliant night when there’s no moon and the stars just seem to jump out at you.”

While TIME declared, “Not since Lindy had the U.S. had such a hero”—referring to Charles Lindbergh, who accomplished the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean—Glenn tried to emphasize at a press conference following his splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean that spaceflight still had a long way to go: “If you think of the enormity of space, it makes our efforts seem puny. But these are all step-by-step functions we go through. The manned flights we’ve had to date have added information. This flight, I hope, added a bit more. And there are more to come.”

Read the full cover story, here in the TIME Vault: Spaceman Glenn

Sometimes Educators In The U.S. Are Completely Out Of Touch With Reality

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS NETWORK)

‘To Be White Is to Be Racist.’ Oklahoma Teacher’s Race Lecture Divides

A high school teacher in Oklahoma sparked a controversy at his school when he told students in a discussion of race that “to be white is to be racist, period.”

“Am I racist? And I say, yeah. I don’t want to be. It’s not like I choose to be racist, but do I do things because of the way I was raised?” the unnamed teacher says in an audio recording made by one of his students who was offended by the lecture.

Some students, like the one who made the recording, were upset by the class, and Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joseph Siano said the situation was “poorly handled.”

“While discussing a variety of philosophical perspectives on culture, race and ethics, a teacher was attempting to convey to students in an elective philosophy course a perspective that had been shared at a university lecture he had attended,” Siano said in a statement, the Huffington Post reports. “We regret that the discussion was poorly handled.”

Other students, however, have begun demonstrating in support of the teacher, or at least in support of his attempt to tackle thorny issues.

“What has been reported in the news doesn’t accurately portray what happened in our philosophy class, nor does it reflect what we believe in at our school,” a student who attended both the class and the demonstration said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “The information was taken out of context and we believe it is important to have serious and thoughtful discussions about institutional racism in order to change history and promote exclusivity.”

Clare O'Dea

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