The work of Missouri men and women was directly responsible for helping to send the first American into space on this date in 1961. 

Alan Shepard blasted off on the Mercury-Redstone 3 Space Capsule. The capsule had been manufactured at McDonald Aircraft.

An estimated 45 million Americans watched the Freedom 7 streak Skyward for the 15 minutes suborbital flight before Shepard safely splashed down in the North Atlantic ocean.

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Straub, Unsplash