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Tenney-Lawshae Home Movies - Fourth of July Parade with Mercury Seven Astronauts (1962)

Richard Lawshae

Silent | 1962

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  •  Mercury spacecraft 
  •  Play catch 
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To officially welcome the Manned Spacecraft Center to Houston, the city’s Chamber of Commerce sponsored an Independence Day parade in 1962 that featured the Mercury Seven astronauts and top facility personnel. (The Center was renamed in honor of the late President and Texas native Lyndon B. Johnson in 1973.) The event began and ended at the Sam Houston Coliseum, with an employee barbecue held at the event space (not captured here) following the parade. While NASA projected an attendance of over 500,000, the thin crowd lined up along the sidewalk in this footage conveys a more modest number. Nevertheless, all seven astronauts participate in the motorcade—their first appearance together in Houston. They include Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton. A trailer carrying the Mercury spacecraft concludes the parade. The home movie also includes footage of the Lawshae family playing catch in their front yard.