Air Force One in-flight booklet cover, 5 x 8, undated [but February 26, 1962] with an image of the aircraft and the presidential seal, with “Aboard the Presidential Aircraft,” printed along the bottom, signed near the bottom in black ink, “John F. Kennedy,” and signed near the top, “Best regards—J. H. Glenn, Jr.,” “Virgil I. Grissom,” and “Alan B. Shepard, Jr.” Grissom’s signature has been carefully traced over, probably by Grissom himself as it is in the same ink as the other signatures. In fine condition, with a uniform shade of mild toning from previous display, and some light mounting remnants to reverse. Accompanied by an unsigned vintage glossy 10 x 8 photo of Kennedy and all of the Mercury astronauts at the White House on October 10, 1963, where they were to receive the 1963 Collier Trophy.
Three days after John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, President Kennedy—famously passionate about advancing the space program—flew to Cape Canaveral to honor the astronaut, view his spacecraft, and tour the space launch center, which he had never seen. On February 26, 1962, the two stepped aboard Air Force One, joined by Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom—who had made the first two suborbital flights in 1961—to attend further celebrations in Washington, DC. The group spent the flight discussing further promotional events for the space program, both domestically an abroad, though Kennedy was clearly inclined to end the publicity and return the astronauts to work on their next missions. Signed during this historic flight aboard the presidential jet, this is an excellent piece, holding four highly sought-after autographs on one rare format. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.