Monday, March 30, 2009

Radio Show Appearance for Grissom

I will be appearing on Nelson Price's live call-in radio program "Hoosier History Live!" at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 4, on WICR-FM 88.7 to discuss the life and times of Hoosier astronaut Gus Grissom.

Here is what the program has to say about my appearance:

"April 4 Gus Grissom Remembered

We will be back, live with listener call-in and our Hoosier History Trivia Mystery, as we explore the life, legacy, and tragic death of Virgil “Gus” Grissom, the day after what would have been his 83rd birthday--and 50 years after the Mitchell, Ind., native was selected by NASA as one of the original seven American astronauts in 1959.

Nelson will be joined in studio by Grissom expert Ray Boomhower, editor of the award-winning Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History magazine, which is celebrating a milestone of its own. Traces, published by the Indiana Historical Society, is turning 20 years old. During those years, Ray has written a cover story and other articles about Grissom, who became the first person to travel in space twice when he orbited the Earth in 1965. For that mission, Grissom was in a Gemini spacecraft, a chapter that Ray says often is a “lost” part of NASA history because it came between the excitement surrounding the first men in space (those were the Mercury missions, which also involved Grissom) and the moon landings.

Sadly, the Hoosier astronaut wasn’t involved in the latter because Grissom was killed in the explosive fire of his Apollo spacecraft during what was supposed to be a routine test at Cape Kennedy in 1967. A Purdue grad who had been an Air Force fighter pilot during the Korean War, Gus Grissom was just 40 years old.

Ray is the author of Gus Grissom: The Lost Astronaut (Indiana Historical Society Press, 2004).

Fun fact: Still widely remembered as a hero in his home state, Grissom was selected as one of the “10 Greatest Hoosiers of the 20th Century” in a reader participation project by the Indianapolis Star, which Nelson oversaw at the end of the millennium when he was a feature writer/columnist at the newspaper. (Others on the list included Eli Lilly, James Whitcomb Riley, Cole Porter, Madam Walker, Ernie Pyle, and Hoagy Carmichael.)"

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