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New Yorkers Praise Cooper

May 17, 1963 - A thrill of delight went around New York City last night when Major Gordon Cooper piloted his spacecraft to a safe landing. Wherever New Yorkers gathered, the flight had been followed with tense interest. Many on the streets and on subway platforms held transistor radios to their ears during Major Cooper’s descent. Others crowded around television sets. In the rotunda of Grand Central Station, more than 4,000 silently watched a huge TV screen. When Major Cooper’s parachute opened, there was loud applause. Sigmund Paley of Brooklyn, a credit manager, said with a choked voice: “It’s fascinating, and it’s chilling,” “The whole thing gives me goose pimples,” said Diane Miller, a 22-year-old stewardess from Buffalo. “But I knew he would make it.” On the Lower East Side, Joseph Mehringer said: “It’s wonderful that in this free country we can do things in the open for all to see.” Paul Miller, a waiter in a downtown restaurant, echoed that sentiment, stating: “This is the most marvelous thing that has happened, and we did it in the open for everyone to see — win or lose.” Ralph Calobrisi, 37, of the Bronx, waved his transistor radio as he walked along Fordham Road and shouted: “We made it!” “We’re really showing the Russians we can send a man up there,” he said, “and this guy Cooper is so matter of fact he can joke about it.” A passerby, Joseph Michaels, 24, commented: “He made us the leader in space. God bless him.”


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