First hour: Phil Gries joins for a look back at how network TV news covered the Mercury Friendship 7 mission, the 4-hour, 52-minute flight by John Glenn on Feb. 20, 1962 that made him the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, and just the fifth person overall to navigate space successfully. The Friendship 7 mission was an early indication of how the powers of television can unify the country through a single event. Second hour: Ed, Tony and Donna welcome Nichelle Nichols, the actress known around the world as Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek and the first six Star Trek movies. We talk about Nichelle’s life and career before, during and after Star Trek, including her recruitment effort on behalf of NASA that resulted in more than 8,000 applicants in just six months, including more than 1,600 female applicants and more than 1,000 applicants from minorities.
For our listeners in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nichelle Nichols will be appearing at Comic Con San Francisco, Friday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Sept. 3 at the Moscone Center West, 800 Howard St. in San Francisco. Nichelle is scheduled to appear all three days. For tickets and more information, go to SanFranComicCon.com. You can also follow Nichelle Nichols on Facebook and on Twitter.