Glenn became the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth, after Yuri Gagarin, the soviet cosmonaut, who became the first person to ever do so the year before. Glenn was selected as part of the “Mercury Project, and was the oldest among seven pilots selected by NASA for spaceflight training. He was chosen for the first orbital flight Mercury-Atlas 6. His space capsule, Friendship 7, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It successfully orbited the Earth three times before landing in the Atlantic Ocean near Grand Turk island five hours later.

Other notable events on February 20th:

In 1988, The Nagorno-Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan begins

In 1877, Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Swan Lake” premiers

John Glenn in 1998/ NASA