COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The remembrance of astronaut-hero John Glenn in his native state has been expanded to include a processional through the heart of the capital city and a longer period in repose at the Ohio Statehouse than President Abraham Lincoln and others.
A U.S. Marine guard is set to remain with Glenn’s casket throughout a series of events Friday and Saturday.
The first American to orbit Earth died Thursday at 95. His body is scheduled to lie in state in the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, to remain there overnight and then to be carried up High Street to Ohio State University on Saturday for a 2 p.m. memorial service.
All events are open to the public. Tickets, available starting Thursday, are required for the memorial service at Mershon Auditorium.
Glenn, of New Concord, became a national hero after orbiting Earth in 1962. He returned to space in 1998. Glenn, a Democrat, also served more than two decades representing Ohio in the U.S. Senate and founded a public affairs college at Ohio State.
The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board unanimously gave permission Monday for Glenn to lay in repose during Friday’s event and overnight, in order to accommodate the funeral procession, which begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, who heads the board, said that means the doors to the Statehouse may remain open later if people are still waiting.
In Ohio, dignitaries typically lay in state for eight hours. After Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, his body was transported across the country by funeral train. He lay in state at the Ohio Statehouse for nine hours on April 29, 1865.
The John Glenn College of Public Affairs has posted information on memorial activities for Glenn on its website. Memorabilia from Glenn’s life remains on display in Page Hall, which houses the college.
The university’s main library will open an exhibit remembering Glenn on Thursday. Running through March, it will include photographs, documents and artifacts from the John Glenn Archives.
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