Epic History

Exploring American history, one epic record from the National Archives at a time

Run by the Foundation for the National Archives

On April 9, 1959, NASA announced the first seven American astronauts: Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton. These men would collectively become known as the “Mercury Seven.”

The men considered themselves to be military test pilots but became instant national heroes. However, they were caught in the middle of the larger Cold War rivalry and space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. NASA, concerned about the growing competition between the two countries, sent this memo proposing to publicly work with Russia. Two of the seven, Walter M. Schirra and Donald K. Slayton, in an apparent protest to this, crossed their names out and did not sign.

These documents are featured in the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" exhibit at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, through January 5, 2015.

“Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives.

  1. my-cat-is-a-dwarf reblogged this from gravitationalbeauty
  2. hashakhar reblogged this from gravitationalbeauty
  3. ozilot reblogged this from gravitationalbeauty
  4. gravitationalbeauty reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  5. fullframehappy reblogged this from lightthiscandle
  6. capcomcharlie reblogged this from hellomackenziehere1126
  7. hellomackenziehere1126 reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  8. strangedesire reblogged this from brilliantinemortality
  9. charlesemerson reblogged this from cavalier
  10. likethedawninglight reblogged this from hollowtowers
  11. mountainsandmoleskines reblogged this from hollowtowers
  12. misshollylin reblogged this from hollowtowers
  13. hollowtowers reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  14. tracksuitpunks reblogged this from fitzempress
  15. ironchill reblogged this from futurisms
  16. g-agarin reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  17. screwtherunway reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  18. bemyherolove reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  19. fitzempress reblogged this from futurisms
  20. mqstical reblogged this from yonderlight
  21. yonderlight reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  22. avenirs reblogged this from futurisms
  23. futurisms reblogged this from brilliantinemortality
  24. greghyatt reblogged this from colleendoran
  25. fabiofraccarolli reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  26. klaus-like reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  27. v-wie-vendetta reblogged this from skelemom
  28. mustachiotuna reblogged this from skelemom
  29. skelemom reblogged this from archivesfoundation
  30. canarypaper reblogged this from hermitjoel
  31. hermitjoel reblogged this from bonnell