WOW John Glenn Signed Fife Corps Bass Drum "Upon his return to earth" Mercury 7 For Sale
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WOW John Glenn Signed Fife Corps Bass Drum "Upon his return to earth" Mercury 7:
An incredible piece of History! A bass drum that is signed by John Glenn after his return to earth from the Mercury "Friendship" 7 capsule, where the famous pilot and future Senator became the first person from the US to orbit the earth at a very critical time in space exploration for the United States. Widely considered one of the most historic events in the United States history, John became a much loved national hero and a worldwide phenomenon after his incredible flight. He was awarded the NASA distinguished service medal by President Kennedy shortly after the flight on February 23rd, 1962 and was honored with three parades for his monumental achievement. The first was a small parade at Cocoa Beach near Cape Canaveral on the same day after receiving this distinguished honor, the next was in Washington D. C. 3 days later at the "Return from Orbit" parade in his honor, and final was in New York City on March 1st, as one of New York's famous ticker tape parades, which is still regarded as the largest in the history of ticker tape parades. I believe it was likely during or shortly after the "Return from Orbit" parade on February 26th, 1962 when he signed the drum--just 6 days after his return from space. The accompanying paper reads as follows:
"Signed by Col John Glenn Jr, Upon his return to earth! Done at Alexandria, Va at a special drum & bugle ceremony". It is initialed by the person attesting this, but I do not know who this was. The paper this was attested on is a flyer from a show titled "Military Relics, Militaria and Military History Collectors Hobby Show" at the Columbus, Ohio Bush National Guard Armory on Oct. 31st to Nov. 2nd, 1980, only 18 years after his historic feat.
In the second photo I show the signature compared to the PSA sample used by them for verification, and their example is dated Nov. 6th, 1965 so this signature is 3 years earlier. They are nearly a perfect match. It should also be noted that John at the time was abbreviating his signature "J A Glenn" and not too long after began using his full name "John" without the middle initial, probably due to his political aspiration. Earlier in his career he seemed to sign his photos "John A Glenn, Jr." so this appears to be a transition period or less formal signature for him. Given the time frame this is likely one of the if not the earliest post flight signatures in existence.
The drum itself is a rope tension model and the exact model used by the Old Guard Drum and Fife corps, considered one of the most historic and prestigious corps of the country, which is stationed in Alexandria at Ft. Myer right next to Arlington and the Pentagon. This group was founded on February 23rd, 1960 just a couple of years before the flight. There is a stamp on the drum head which reads "The Drum Center, 1301 G Street NW, Washington, DC" and I cannot see a zip code. Zip codes were not introduced until July 1st, 1963, over a year after his orbit. Also, the "Washington, DC" is perfectly centered, so I am positive there is no zip code, dating this head to at most around this date in 1963. So we have a fairly definitive date of some time between 1960 and 1963 just from the evidence on the drum.The drum measures about 25 inches (ca. 64 cm) diameter and about 19 inches (48.26 cm) wide, with a weight of nearly 11 pounds (4.99 kg). There is some damage as shown in the pictures, and it was definitely used as evidenced by the marks on the head. Includes the original wood mallets as shown.
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