NEW CONCORD, Ohio (AP) - After being restored into an authentic Depression-era homestead, the boyhood home of John Glenn was opened as a museum on Memorial Day.
Glenn -- who became a Marine fighter pilot, then an astronaut and U.S. senator -- waved to and chatted with visitors Monday from the porch of the two-story white frame house that his father built in the 1920s.
The nine-room home was moved across town last year to its downtown location. Glenn and his wife, Annie, donated the house to Muskingum College in 1999. About $1.1 million was raised for the restoration.
"It's fitting this is being dedicated on Memorial Day when we look back," Glenn said. "I think of how proud my dad and mother would be with what their home is being used for."
The John and Annie Glenn Historic Site opened to the public Monday after nearly a decade's worth of work. The home is furnished with many pieces from the original Glenn home. Model airplanes like those Glenn built as a child hang in his bedroom.
"It looks just like it did when I was growing up ... It's like visiting home 70 years ago," said Glenn, while watching a parade of children riding bicycles decorated with red, white and blue ribbons.
Glenn (pictured, above) became the first American to orbit Earth on Feb. 20, 1962. In 1998, at age 77, he became the oldest space traveler when he returned on the shuttle Discovery.
Later that year, the Democrat retired from the U.S. Senate after representing Ohio for 24 years.
The Glenns, who began dating when they were classmates at Muskingum, left New Concord during World War II so Glenn could train to become a fighter pilot.
He returned to the city of about 2,100 located 70 miles east of Columbus for many of the milestones in his career.
Glenn announced his campaigns for the Senate and his unsuccessful run for the presidency in 1984 from this town of about 2,100 people. He also chose it to announce his retirement.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)