Datebook: May 24 - Scott Carpenter Orbits Earth 50 Years Ago

May 24, 2012

Everyone knows John Glenn was the first American to orbit Earth, but on this day Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit earth (and he did it three times!) aboard the Mercury-Atlas 7. 

It was a five-hour mission focused on science, including liquids in weightlessness, photography,  and an unsuccessful attempt to observe a flare fired from the ground. Carpenter inadvertently resovled a mystery experienced by John Glenn, by bumping his hand against the inside wall and shaking loose ice particles, resulting in a shower of particles outside the spacecraft called "fireflies." His greatest acheivement, however, might be the character Scott Tracy in the Thunderbirds TV series, named after him.

It’s Thursday, May 24

The Stone Soup Shakespeare Troupe gives a performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” tonight in the garden of the McCracken County Public Library.  Eight actors play the roles of nineteen characters in a lively program enhanced by music and magic.  The play starts at 6:30, and admission is free. 

There’s an outdoor movie tomorrow night at Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis.  The featured film is “We Bought A Zoo,” a story about a father who relocates his family to the countryside to renovate and reopen a struggling zoo.  Admission is free, and the movie starts at 8 PM.  Bring your own chairs or ground blankets.

Maiden Alley Cinema hosts an evening of live music from the Rum Drum Ramblers, the Solid Rock’it Boosters, and the Melungeons.  Music will range from blues/punk to rockabilly to western swing.  Doors open at 6 tonight, and the show starts at 7.  Tickets are $10 at the door.  Read more at

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