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President and Mrs. Kennedy with Project Mercury Astronauts

In this photograph, taken by Cecil Stoughton on May 21, 1963, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy entertain astronauts Maj. L. Gordon Cooper, Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Maj. Virgil I. Gus Grissom, Lt. Cmdr. M. Scott Carpenter, Maj, Donald K. Deke Slayton, Cmdr. Walter M. Schirra and their spouses in the Yellow Oval Room of the White House. Earlier that day, President Kennedy presented the NASA Distinguished Service Medal to Maj. Cooper for his success with the Project Mercury orbital mission. Maj. Cooper flew the Mercury-Atlas 9 ("Faith 7"), which was the final Mercury flight. He flew just over 34 hours and orbited the earth 22 times before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The other astronauts were also participants of Project Mercury and took part in early United States spaceflight missions. This photograph shows the president, first lady, and their guests relaxing in the Yellow Oval Room shortly after it was restored into a formal drawing room by Mrs. Kennedy.
Cecil Stoughton
Date of Work
May 21, 1963
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum/NARA