Interviewer: Dr. T. Keith Glennan

Interviewee: Martin Collins

Location: In Dr. Glennan's home, Reston, Virginia

Date: September 7, 1987


MR. COLLINS: In looking over your diaries, the early portions of them, one of the elements of it that struck me very forcibly was your keen interest in getting President (Dwight D. "Ike") Eisenhower to make some kind of public statement about the space program, about its direction, about its management, about its relationship to the Department of Defense activities. You had written him a lengthy letter in the fall of 1959.

DR. GLENNAN: That was interesting.

COLLINS: I wonder if you might comment on the reasons for preparing that letter, and then some of the subsequent attempts to get President Eisenhower to do the speech?

GLENNAN: Which he did not do, although he promised to do it, but something else came up, and it became less important that it be done as time went on.

COLLINS: In your response, could you just characterize why that came to be, as well?

GLENNAN: I think, if I recall correctly, that we were having our full share of failures of launch vehicles. I think earlier on, I had commented that one of the problems that faced us immediately, when I took over in August 1958, was the lack of any proven launch vehicle. The difference between our program and that which the Russians were following was that they were using well-tested launch vehicles, rockets or boosters as we called them in those days, because they were using military materiél. The U.S. had, as a result of the Johnny von Neumann Committee's work quite a number of years before this, started a crash program on building an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile which became the Atlas, by General Dynamics, and then an IRBM, an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, called the Thor, by Douglas. I don't really know when the Titan, by Martin Marietta, came into the picture.

    At that very time, over, I don't know, a year, maybe even more than that, prior to Sputnik, Huntsville, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency under General Medaris and the scientific direction of von Braun were extending the capabilities of the V-1, I believe it was, the V-2, which they called Jupiter. That was changed by some additions or modifications to what became I think the Juno 2. They had as a partner in this the Jet Propulsion Laboratory under Bill Pickering, under the so-called management, which was no management at all, of Caltech. One has to go back thirty years and realize that the scientific technological capabilities within the Air Force, and indeed within the military services, was not what it is today. Thus, I think that (Jet Propulsion Laboratories) JPL with their very bright, very able group of engineers and scientists, really did sort of drive that team, although no one should take anything away from Wernher (von Braun)in the quality of the work and the creativeness of the work that he had done, both in Germany and at Peenemunde, and when he was brought over here first to White Sands and then to (Army Ballistic Missile Agency) ABMA.

COLLINS: Let me be clear. You feel that the scientific and technical talent at JPL was instrumental in driving what was going on in the ABMA at Huntsville during the fifties?

GLENNAN: Only to the extent that they were lifting the sights of the von Braun team to deep space, if you will. The ABMA team was still working on what had been used as a military rocket, and improving it. The upper stage, which was one built by JPL, was what gave them the ability to put Explorer I into orbit, or Explorer II, whatever it was I don't want to be misunderstood, but I believe that the edge in creativity and all the rest of that lay with JPL when it came to deep space and to the space business generally. You'll read in many papers of a long time interest of Wernher von Braun as an individual in space flight, and I'm sure that was absolutely right. I'm sure that was what was of greatest interest to him; the building of the V-2 as a military device was just a station on the way.

    Certainly my comment with respect to the capabilities of the Air Force and the Army is valid. After all, when Bennie Schriever took over as the director of Space Technology Laboratories, I believe they were called, that was entirely a civilian operation, Dean Wooldridge and Si Ramo heading it, and with a great many capable civilians hired as engineers involved with it. I think that's all changed now. I think that the military do possess, and have worked very hard to gain this change, enormous capabilities in science and technology. Maybe not as imaginative in the frontiers of science as in the universities, but in the work that they have to do, equally as good. It's a very great difference in thirty years.

    Well, in any event, leading up to this letter I wrote to Ike, we had had failure after failure. We had some few successes. We didn't have catastrophic failures, because most of them were destroyed because they didn't work just right or something of that sort. They were destroyed by the range safety officer. But it had occurred to me, and I'm sure I'd discussed this with Hugh Dryden and--I suppose it was Dick Horner at the time.

COLLINS: Yes, it would have been.

GLENNAN: That we weren't doing the Air Force any good by our having our failures, without somehow or other differentiating between what we were doing and what the Air Force was trying to do. Ike had gone to Warm Springs for a couple of weeks of golf, or something like that, and I asked if I might go down and talk with him about this problem, which I saw as a serious problem, that is, that the media were honing in on, gosh, you can't get a simple small satellite up, what can you expect from the same kind of a rocket, space booster, in the ballistic missile field? I was allowed to have this meeting with Mr. Eisenhower. I went down one night. What I had done was to write out a letter, which is quoted exactly in my diary. I've forgotten where I stayed. I came over to his quarters or the clubhouse or wherever it was he had his breakfast, and it was a pleasant day. He greeted me, "Keith, it's a long way for you to come to talk to me." I said, "Well, I have something pretty important, in my opinion, about which to talk. And I understand, Mr. President, that you don't like memoranda which are more than a page or two long, and what I have to say is going to take much more than that, and I'd like, if you will permit me, to read it to you." He smiled and said, "That's just fine, go ahead, Keith."

    And so I read this thing to him. It finally wound up, as I recall it, with a proposal that the Air Force stage a launch which would use an Atlas down range about 5000 miles to the Ascension Islands, near which was the splash point. I suggested that the launch and splash be well covered bring whomever you want there, media people from other countries, The President would make a speech, stating this on the day it was happening. The international media would know the date of the launch of course, since a number of them would be required to travel to cover the launch while others covered the splash down. We were certain that the ICBM, and I do think it was the Atlas, would operate well and that the guidance was really something special. That is, if it was splash point 5000 miles away and you were within a mile of the splash point, boy, that was really something, and I was assured by the Air Force that that could be done. I said, "The important thing is to have you, Mr. President, make a statement about this, so that the comparison between what is happening in the space program and what is happening in the missile program comes out and stands starkly before us, that the boosters are not the same, that while the launch vehicles appear the same, the guidance, which was the heart of the ICBM, took it where they wanted it to go." Mr. Eisenhower listened, thoughtfully I think. He didn't ask me many questions. I think I wound up by saying Romer McPhee, who was one of his aides over in the White House, and I with my staff would try to put together maybe a 20 minute paper for him to speak from. He agreed to make that speech.

COLLINS: At that time, you were in Augusta.

GLENNAN: Yes, I was in Augusta. Well, I came back and we went to work. We worked Saturday and Sunday and whatever it took. I wrote a good part of it myself, with help from my people, but it was my concept and I wanted to get it done the way I felt about it, and I felt that Mr. Eisenhower's way of speaking was not all that different from mine, straightforwardly. And I never did know, as I recall it, whether he approved the finished speech or not, but he had it and it was ready. Something else came up in the meantime that just took this off the front burner, so that the imperative necessity that I had felt for straightening this out in the minds of the American people, and the world, as far as that's concerned, would stand out. That's that story.

COLLINS: Were you aware of what further developments made this speech not as important?

GLENNAN: I suppose I was at the time, but I don't remember. I'm a little bit like Hakim and (Oliver) "Ollie" North and (John) Poindexter; I can't recall. I don't know whether the diary would help my memory, but I don't believe so. I suspect that we had a couple of successful launches and the press criticism died down.

COLLINS: I don't believe it's discussed in there. Did you discuss this either before you went to President Eisenhower, or afterwards as you were preparing this, with any of the DOD or Air Force people?

GLENNAN: Oh, I'm sure I talked with Bennie Schriever. I'm sure I talked with Jim Douglas, who was Secretary of the Air Force at the time, and Tommy White, because in effect, I was trying to do something for them, as much as for myself. As a matter of fact, I wasn't making excuses for what we were doing. We were just using the damned things for a different purpose, and we were not concerned with the kind of guidance systems used in the ICBM. What was so bothersome at the time was that because our launch vehicles failed, because they didn't achieve orbit or do what we had planned and announced we were supposed to do, how could you count on a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead to get to its target? I was convinced that they could get to that target, and get to it very, very accurately. And I thought it was time to clear this up in the minds of the people, because there was a good bit of chitchat in the newspapers and the magazines about the comparison between the two, and how could the ballistic missile be operative and adequate and have the space launch vehicles do as badly as they were doing? In a nutshell, I wanted to show, convincingly, that the Atlas used as a space launch vehichle was not the same as the Atlas used as an ICBM.

COLLINS: I believe in the diary you mention a television program, I think this must have been in the spring of 1959, on the management of the space program. I think it was perhaps Howard K. Smith who was the organizer.

GLENNAN: I don't know.

COLLINS: At any rate, you presented a brief statement of the (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) NASA situation. In the diary you've now described what you conveyed in that brief bit of comment. But you've just highlighted for me the public concern about this issue.

GLENNAN: Again, Marty, I'm sorry. That's 30 years ago, and I don't recall that one. I recall only one real debate. Are you saying that I took part? With Howard K. Smith?

COLLINS: I believe it was Howard K. Smith, and you were one of many commentators on the situation.

GLENNAN: I don't remember at all.

COLLINS: Well, that's not necessarily germane.

GLENNAN: It might be that it's an appropriate time to state something about my attitude toward our relationship with the press. I recall one real debate. Fred Friendly and Edward R. Murrow wanted to do what I thought they were calling "The Biography of a Space Vehicle" or space launch, something like that, but it turns out it was "The Biography of a Missile." I remember going in on a Sunday and spending four hours with Walt Bonney, who was then in charge of our public affairs or relations, and what Friendly (he's the one who later became the Dean of Journalism School at Columbia). They beat me over the head. They wanted to have their cameras and themselves in the blockhouse. In those days, you know, a blockhouse would be the approximate volume of this apartment, bedrooms and everything else. They wanted their people describing it there, and I said, "I'm sorry, we will have a pool camera, camera crews, and pool reporters, and you'll get just whatever everybody else gets. I will not break that rule." Four hours they went back and forth, and finally, and I don't recall which one of them made the comment, he said, "You know, we have an enormous audience, and we can really do you in." I said, "Go right ahead. My job isn't dependent on whether I do what you want me to do, it's dependent on whether I carry out the mandates given me under the law and under the President's direction." So, after four hours on a Sunday, we finished it up, and they did get what was given them from the pool, and they did do this special on "The Biography of a Missile," and some of our film was used in that. But that was another one of those things that I remember so very vividly, Edward R. Murrow smoking his cigarette there in my office.

    We opened to the press and everybody what we did at Wallop's Island, which was located in Virginia. They could see everything we were doing there. We launched probes, sounding rockets, small payloads. We used the Scout, launch vehicle. The scout could insert about 75 sounds into a low earth orbit developed at Langley Research Center. I guess it could throw up maybe 75 pounds of payload to a considerable height for sounding rockets, to measure the pressures and sensitivity and temperatures and one thing and another in the atmosphere. That was quite a program in itself. In my time we must have put up two or three hundred of those. Most of them worked.

COLLINS: Was it your sense that the press's inquisitiveness and desire to get as much detail as possible was an interest in being critical of the space program, or simply kind of normal press curiosity?

GLENNAN: No, I don't believe they were so stupid as to be critical of the space program. If you mean the space program as I was carrying it out or as my staff were carrying it out, I'm sure that there were times when they felt that we weren't doing it the way we should. But while I'm not a person who has very much interest in the press or very much to do with the press, I did have very good press relations. I didn't call but one press conference during my 30 months. That was to introduce the astronauts. I did take the lead in the second one, which was to introduce the two monkeys, Baker and Able, and the press were just as excited and the place was just as crowded for Baker and Able as it was for the seven astronauts.

I did have a very good friend, Dick Harkness, who was the NBC television commentator. He had a five-minute 11:00 pm news program. I've forgotten how I came to know him, as a matter of fact, but he and his wife had dinner with us and we had dinner with them from time to time. Dick arranged two background briefings. What they did in those days, they met at lunch and maybe fifteen, I don't think as many as twenty, of the top people, Scotty Reston, Mark Childs, people of that ilk came. I think, as I recall it, that I gave them a complete frank discussion of what we were doing, what our problems were, and that sort of thing, because such a meeting was held under the understanding that there would be no direct quotes. I was simply trying to fill them in so that they could understand a particular problem against a background of greater understanding that they had achieved by listening to me talk and asking me the question that they wanted, and I was very open and frank with them in answering those questions. I had two of those, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. And I had Scotty Reston and his wife come out to our home for dinner in the apartment.

    Roscoe Drummond was very responsible. I think he was with the Herald Tribune. At the end of my term, when the Kennedy Administration was doing nothing about replacing me, I asked Roscoe to come in and I told him exactly where we stood. You may recall how concerned I was about their not having named a successor. And he wrote a very, very effective column about it. So I think I left most of the relationships with the press to others, except in the ways which I've described.

COLLINS: What was your response to the intense press interest? I mean, this was not like most other government programs. There was an incredible amount of activity here.

GLENNAN: Of course. Well, Marty, again, I think we have to go back and remember that this was not too long after a tragic war, and then the Korean War, and that the country was tired of war news. This was our bright horizon. It excited people of all ages, and so many people have used the cliche: one always thought about going to the moon. I guess they did. I don't know. From time immemorial, they would look up there and ask--"How do we get there?" It was the exciting part of science and technology and governmental activities, at the time. It wasn't the most important. I think that the design and development of the ICBMs and the work in the Atomic Energy Commission were much more important from the standpoint of national security in the strictly military use of that term. But they were under heavy classification. You didn't know much about them. You couldn't talk about them. On the other hand, our program was completely in the open. The only thing that we did not do was to turn over a blockhouse to them, as Murrow and Friendly had wanted. We tried to get them to understand. Actually, I went back to the AEC to pick up some ideas on how we moved this out into the field of education, so that youngsters would get an understanding, through well-prepared texts. God, we had a stack of them like this, booklets that went to schools and that sort of educational activity. So we really worked hard at getting the populace to understand the excitement of space.

    I don't think many of us knew where we were finally going, although some of our scientists probably had great theoretical ideas, and wanted to test them out. But I'm not a person who gets excited about, how did this universe of ours originate? It's here. I live in it. I'll die in it. To know that it was the result of a Big Bang or a couple of equations doesn't help me. I'm just not built that way. So my feeling was that the press really were themselves excited about this. It was good copy, and the fact that Walter Cronkite became sort of a buddy along with Walter Schirra and other astronauts. They did that because it was both good business for them and because they thought it was what the public wanted.

COLLINS: You raised an interesting complex of issues there. Certainly in the letter that you wrote to President Eisenhower, I mean you were attempting to distinguish between military programs and the open civilian activities of NASA but in the press's mind and in the minds of Congressmen, there was a relationship, simply because of the shared technology between the two programs. There was this concern about the management of the space program. Certainly, one of the things that you seemed to be trying to do, through this letter to Eisenhower and through several other kinds of activities, was to make a distinction in the public mind and the press's mind and Congress's mind about the relation between these two programs.

GLENNAN: Absolutely. From the word go. I don't think anybody has ever thought about running a space program behind closed doors. It wasn't my idea that it be an open program, I just embraced it. I thought that was the only way to do it. And so we did run into this probably most critically with the members of the Congress. How can we count on the missiles when they fail when you use them as launch vehicles? You can spend hours, days and weeks trying to explain to them what the difference between the use and the guidance systems and things of that sort might be. Only a few of them settled down and really understood it.

COLLINS: Let's start at a concrete point, in trying to expand that area of discussion. In the diary, you briefly mention your feelings about the Symington Committee's look into the management of the space program. But it seems that this exposure to the work of the Symington Committee played a key role in your thinking about working through this distinction.

GLENNAN: Let me, for the record, go back and describe my relationship with Mr. Stuart Symington. I had known of him when he was president or chairman--the top man at Emerson Electric, and I had applauded his going into politics. One of the first persons to whom I talked on the Hill was Symington. Jim Gleason, who had been the AA for the hidebound Republican, Bill Knowland of California, came over and was leader our Congressional liaison group, took me up and introduced me. I had looked forward to talking with Symington, because I had a great deal of interest in industry and some experience in running an institute of technology, and was interested in the relationships between industry and education and particularly technological education. What I got was a lecture, and I mean a lecture. "If you do what I tell you, you'll do all right. I ran Emerson Electric." It was the sort of thing that just turned me off. And I'm afraid I said in the diary, as I've said to other people, "There is a man that I have no respect for. He may know a lot but he doesn't know what to do with it." I would take that back today.

    I came to know Symington later on, after I had left Washington, when I came back as the Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Symington must have been a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee or Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, or had something to do with the old Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy. By this time both of us had matured, I'm sure. At least I had. I found him a pleasant person to be with, and I just said, that was an aberrational experience that you had, Keith. The man was a fine man, and I came to like him. But you can't take that out of that diary. It's in there. That was the way I felt at the time.

    Now, what he was trying to do was somehow or other to bring the two--he'd been the Secretary of the Air Force, you recall, before this--I think he couldn't get out of his mind the fact that we were both using launch vehicle rockets, sending things into space, one to come back with a blast and the other to do something up there, and he didn't understand why we shouldn't do this together, and plan together. This was very early on, Marty. I should suppose that those hearings must have been in the last month of '58, or certainly in the very early part of '59.

    All I could say was, "Mr.Symington, we haven't had time. We haven't had time to develop our own program. We came into being with an inherited set of programs established by (Advanced Research Project Agency) ARPA, with a basic and basically very good staff from (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) NACA, to which we are adding at every opportunity, to get new talent and management. We were building on an organization which had been protected from the Congress by its advisory committee, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. It was a whole new world, and it was being done in the white hot light of publicity. We couldn't make mistakes that would destroy what we were trying to achieve, yet we couldn't take the time to think through things six or seven different ways and choose the right way." I said, "I don't think there's any question but in time, our planning and the planning of the military will mesh in some way, but they will be separate."


GLENNAN: Well, to go on with it. I had a personal assistant, Wes Hjornevick, who came to me from what was then, what, (U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare) HEW?

COLLINS: I'm not sure what that incarnation was called at that point either.

GLENNAN: As we rode back from the Hill, and I'm sure Hugh Dryden was in on this, I said, "You know, much as I disliked what's being thrown at us up there, I think I've learned something. I think we must get at developing a long-range plan that we can reveal to the world. We know what is ahead of us, because we've got to finish up what's been started, and we have plenty of ideas that the scientists and technologists are proposing all the time. And we certainly are being pressured by people in industry who want to take on the jobs, but in the sense of ordering this thing so that we're always at the cutting edge of new technology and pushing it just as fast as we could, but not too fast, no crash programs. "I then did go to work on setting up a long-range planning group. It wasn't that I had dismissed this as unnecessary before. I just hadn't put in the effort on it.

    I had tried, as a matter of fact, before I came on board, to get Guy Stever. I went up to Boston to see Guy Stever and ask him to come and head a long-range planning group. He'd been doing that kind of thing for the Air Force. But he wouldn't take it on. So that sort of turned me off for the time being. Finally, I got Homer Joe Stewart from JPL to take this on, and he did a very thorough job. I've got both of the programs here. The archivist found them for me. I never really did read them more than--I read them when I was approving them. But I think that Symington's beating on me got through, and I understood better the necessity for having these damnable sessions with the Congress. Sometimes questions were asked that we should have thought of, we should have worked at harder, and I took this one as one where I benefitted from Symington's beating me over the head.

COLLINS: Why do you think, backing up to your initial meeting with Symington, that he approached you in the way that he did? That he was interested in having you essentially under his thumb, is what it sounds like?

GLENNAN: Yes, that is essentially what it sounded like to me, too. I just don't know. I suppose he thought I was the president of a modestly small engineering school. What did I know about running a big organization? Well, I'd had a reasonable amount of experience which he either didn't know about or ignored. When I was ten years younger, I'd been the head of Paramount's operations activities: had 1800 people, we were spending a hell of a lot of money every year, and they were a wide variety of people and as many prima donnas as any faculty member you ever met, be they carpenter or electrician or what.

COLLINS: With respect to the long-range plan, besides, you know, kind of articulating the programmatic elements for the future, did you also see it as serving to distinguish the NASA effort from the Air Force effort?

GLENNAN: Gee, I don't think there was a conscious recognition of that, although I'm sure it must have happened. What I was beginning to learn was that almost anything we started took five to seven to ten years to finish. Without looking far ahead and staging things so that they were started and then were kept going at a fairly level rate, to operate at such a rate that when the experiment was finally run, you'd get the answers you desired. You wouldn't know what kind of people you needed. You wouldn't know how to assign those people, what the laboratories could do to underpin with their R and D some of the activities that had to be undertaken. I think that one of the real problems that Jim Fletcher has today, and it's been a problem since the beginning, is that we're a government that every two years changes a third of the people on the Hill, changes a lot of people in the executive branch, and in my lifetime, most of the Presidents have lasted only four years. When you're running an activity such as this one, the business of institutional memory becomes very, very important, and continuity in management, and at the same time, bringing in at the lower level younger men to grow up with the program and take it over when it matures, and be ready for the next big one coming along. I think that is all of enormous importance.

COLLINS: So in a sense, the long-range plan served in some measure as a strategy document in working with Congress and the executive branch.

GLENNAN: Yes. It was a classified document, by the way, and we sanitized it and put out an unclassified document. I recall very vividly that I was concerned. I guess this is something that a person in government shouldn't be concerned with--God damn it, they'd better be that we not go so fast so furiously, to do such a crash program, that we'd finally wear out the public's patience. So my strategy was to build this up to where I thought that the public would sustain, over time, a three billion dollar a year level of operations. That was my goal.

COLLINS: So your aversion to engaging in a crash program at that time, it sounds like you had essentially two reasons. One was that you didn't think that the organization could be effectively pushed to accommodate a crash program.

GLENNAN: That's right.

COLLINS: And there would be also the concern that the public would not sustain it.

GLENNAN: Exactly. Marty, just stop and think of the changes between administrations. You see, I dealt more particularly with Mr. Eisenhower than I think any of my successors has done with his President. I assume it must have been for a couple of reasons. One, we were starting something. Two, there was an empathy between us. I was a conservative. I wasn't a space cadet, neither was Ike. He enunciated that several times. I wasn't quite as frank in saying that I was not a space cadet in those days. But I came early on to recognize that we probably would always have to have some kind of manned space program if we were to keep the interest of the public. I had an advisory group which Frank Stanton was on, and talked to them about how do we keep the public informed and supportive. Finally, when, long after I'd left, the Mercury boys started to fly, and they all had an opportunity do that, and then Gemini and so forth, I noticed on the first one or two of those flights, everything stopped. Every network took the time, covered it from stem to gudget. By the time the fourth or fifth flight got going, they might give it a half an hour, and some of them might not cover it at all. I was not wise enough or experienced enough to understand.

    I got hold of Frank Stanton, whom I very much admired. I'd been on the RAND Corporation board when he was the chairman of it, so we did know each other that well. I said, "Frank, I just don't quite understand it." He said, "Keith, the American people are excitable. They're interested in the tough things that are undertaken. When an achievement is made, however, it's made. To do it the second, third, and then the tenth time, raises nobody's blood pressure. We know it can be done. So the public loses interest." Maybe the public wouldn't lose interest if the networks didn't lose interest or their supporters, the advertisers, didn't lose interest. But that to me was a very succinct and believable statement that Frank gave me.

COLLINS: This is a realization that you had after you left being administrator.

GLENNAN: Yes, because we didn't have any flights of Mercury other than Little Joe, the unmanned capsules, while I was there. I thought that was one hell of a job. We started from scratch. Those went up on just an ordinary rocket, didn't have sophistigated guidance, didn't have anything else in it. They flew just so far because that's the fuel they had.

COLLINS: Just for clarity's sake, when you say you were not a space cadet, President Eisenhower was not a space cadet. What is it exactly do you mean?

GLENNAN: I think this is a reflection again of my aversion to crash programs. I am neither a scientist nor an engineer, really, although I have an engineering degree. I guess I'm a manager. I had an interest in people: how you get people to do things. And when Ike was being pounded upon to get to the moon, he said, "You know, the moon's been there for eons. It's going to be there for eons more. If we get there next year or fifty years from now, it doesn't make any difference. I know we'll get there, but it isn't necessary that we do it now." I so thoroughly agreed with that, and I so thoroughly agreed with knowing what we were doing step-by-step, that we'd build on success, that we not take chances. Had I been--no, I won't say it.

COLLINS: So just to relate this to some of our earlier discussion, it seems to tie in with your concern of giving the Air Force the proper kind of atmosphere for the public presentation of their program. That is, you were doing successes; it would not put pressure on the perception of the ICBM program; and it would also better facilitate long-term public interest in your activity.

GLENNAN: Exactly. I'm not sure that I've related this. I think I must have. The Air Force was putting out a lot of pap about what they were doing for the civilian space program, with their Discoverer satellite program.

COLLINS: We touched on it briefly in a previous interview.

GLENNAN: Well, I listened to that and I wondered about it, and I couldn't find anything that we'd had from the Air Force that would help us in our programs. This was dispatching of a capsule out of the atmosphere, by a plane off Hawaii. A good feat. But what had that to do with ours? Only in one sense could it have had something to do with us and that was in the Tiros, the weather satellite, where we needed pictures and we wanted to get those pictures back, and in communication satellites, where the same kind of technology would be involved. But we didn't really have anything in writing, weren't invited to come to this or that briefing.

    So I called Bennie Schriever and I said, "Bennie you know, I read all this stuff about how much you're doing with Discoverer for the civilian space program, and I'd like to understand what Discoverer is all about." He said, "Fine." He set up a 707. We went out to Los Angeles to the Space Technology Laboratories, had a full day there with Ozzie Ritland, the man in charge, I guess, for the Air Force. We had a full day's set of briefings and flew back the same day. Left at 8:00 am in the morning, got back at 2:00 the next morning. It didn't help me very much, except to let me know more about what the Air Force was really doing. It didn't clear up for me how that was feeding into our staff. I am sure that at the staff level, of course there are many layers of staff, there was a fair amount of exchange, but what it helped us to do, I don't know.

COLLINS: So there was some kind of staff or liaison interaction, between the Discoverer Program.

GLENNAN: Oh yes. You may recall that in the beginning of 1960, we were able to get a change in the law which did away with the Military Liaison Committee, which was a bust. It was a hang over from the AEC, where they had a Military Liaison Committee which I didn't think much of either, and Jim Douglas I think cadged up the name, Operations Coordinating Board.

COLLINS: The Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board, is that what you're referring to?

GLENNAN: That's the one. That did not become part of the law, but the Military Liaison Committee was simply dropped out of the law. And that's in the legislative history now. But that coordinating board really worked. On my side, I had Hugh Dryden head it, and he had several people in propulsion, in spacecraft technology, things of that sort, matching people that Herb York would have on the military side. We did exchange and we did work out problems, and when we couldn't work out problems, I got together with Jim Douglas and we worked them out. So it brought the problems up instead of letting them fester.

COLLINS: Just to follow up the Discoverer thing as an example, what was involved with Discoverer certainly was an important national priority, in terms of working out oversight questions with relation to the Soviets. To what degree were the NASA activities, which also were characterized in this broad arena of foreign policy, and the military programs discussed, either at Space Council meetings, National Security Council. How did you fit into those broad discussions of how the NASA activity fitted into this larger scope?

GLENNAN: I don't recall that we had very many, if any, real discussions in the Space Council. We only had a few meetings of the Space Council while I was there. Ike didn't like it. He was the chairman. And he didn't see any reason why he should be running the Space Council, although, that's what Lyndon had slipped into the legislation. I think that what got us involved in foreign policy matters, or interactions with other governments, was really the placement of dishes to receive and transmit any command signals from satellites, particularly manned satellites. We did a lot of that. We did it because the State Department had only Phil Farley, a very fine guy who's now out at Stanford, was the Deputy Secretary at AEC when I was there in '50 to '52, but he was the science advisor to the Secretary of State. Hell, we had to get things done; we couldn't set up all the protocols that were necessary in diplomatic activities, so I got a hold of Phil. We sat down at lunch and I said, "Phil, we're going to do this ourselves. We have to. We have to get it done. I'll keep you fully advised, and you'll be in on the final discussions, but please let us go ahead and run our own small "State Department" if you will," and that's what (Arnold) Frutkin did, for many years. I don't know how they operate now. Really, you know, we initiated discussions with the Soviets. I remember Blagonorovoff and Sedov came over here for a meeting of the American Rocket Society or one of the trade technological associations. Hugh Dryden and I met with them, invited them to go down to Langley. We were working on the Mercury capsule down there. We were building it out at St. Louis, but we had the mockup at Langley. I think Sedov finally went down there, but he wouldn't go near the Mercury capsule. He wanted to see the high speed wind tunnels and things of that sort, but he wouldn't go near the capsule. I didn't talk with him enough to know very much about that.

    But our international relations, I thought, were going to bevery important. They were called out in the law. One of my first appointments was a fellow by the name of Henry Billingsley, I think it was, and he was, so far as I recall, the only person that I finally had to fire, six months after he came on board. It was simply because, while he had been in the international affairs arena at the DOD, he was not that broad or well-disciplined a person. He liked to travel, and wanted to be the big person in any discussions, and that didn't fit with my way of doing business. And I was able to convince Frutkin, who had been working on the (International Geophysical Year) IGY, was in charge of our part of the IGY--Lloyd Berkner. Frutkin came over. He was an individual, a very fine person. I guess he's back in Washington now. He went to Detroit for a number of years. His wife was a professional.

    But I think that we had good relations with the State Department. We didn't impinge too much upon their prerogatives, but we didn't allow anything to stand in the way of our getting a site off Madagascar or in Chile or wherever it was we needed for a dish. After all, the world was interested. So each one of these countries, it might be Mexico, it might be Alaska, that was before Alaska was a state, were eager to have a NASA installation.

COLLINS: Getting back to the other context of the foreign policy thing, I believe that during this early period after NASA's formation, during the Eisenhower Administration, the National Security Council did prepare several directives on space policy. To your knowledge, were you ever involved in the formulation of those policy documents?

GLENNAN: I don't recall enough about it to say yes. I can't believe that we were not consulted. I don't even remember the documents, mostly. It seemed to me, if I may be crass enough to say it, that we did what came naturally. We got a job done. And we did it with and through the other agencies of government. Where their interests were being somewhat trampled upon--as in the State Department, that you could say, "Glennan, you certainly trampled upon the State Department's prerogatives"--we didn't trample upon them. We kept them advised. We told them what we had to do and why we had to do it now. I remember Frutkin's having to go over to Madagascar. We wanted to put a ship out there or had planned to, and that plan fell through, and so we had to get onto the island. He went. The same day we came to that decision, he left. His description of talking with tribesmen was fascinating. I don't recall it now. We did what we had to do.

COLLINS: Another way of looking at this kind of connection between various foreign policy objectives, between the institutions, would be to look at NASA's involvement in the U-2 activity.

GLENNAN: That's very simple. NACA was the cover, in that instance, before NASA, and I know very little about it. I saw some of the results, after I'd been at NASA two or three months. I learned about this through Hugh Dryden, because you recall Hugh had been the director of NACA, and when the U-2 was shot down with Gary Powers, I was on the West Coast and Hugh was here. Hugh took the brunt, and it was right that he should because he knew how that thing had started, and he was a master at being frank with the Congress, but to my certain knowledge, we had nothing to do with that operation except to be the cover. NACA was presumably flying weather flights and those took the plane over the Soviet Union. It was an amazing plane. I don't know if you ever saw a U-2. Did you ever see one take off?

COLLINS: I've never seen one take off, but we do have one down in the museum.

GLENNAN: Oh, that's right. You could see that thing, with those two outrigger wheels, run for perhaps no more than 100 yards, then go straight up, dropping the wheels. It was an amazing sight. And it was loaded with nothing but camera and fuel. But literally that died off very, very quickly, the involvement of NASA with the U-2. I don't recall that there was much argument in the paper, why was NASA doing this, this was compromising NASA's purity, and all the rest of it. I don't recall that there was very much of that. It died very quickly. It didn't die in Mr. Eisenhower's life. I've seldom seen a man so beaten as the day he came back from Paris. I was invited to come over to the Cabinet meeting and National Security Council meeting, which were combined, as I recall it. Ike told of the Kruschev tirade. It just, you just wanted to cry for the man, because he was such an honest guy. My wife, first time and last time she's ever written to a politician, so-called, she wrote a letter to Ike, saying she fully agreed with what he had done, saying that it was his decision and his responsibility. And it was his decision. He approved all, each one of those flights, as I understand it. He somewhere or other dug out that letter and wrote her a nice response. I'll tell you, Marty, I've tried from time to time. I'd have lunch with Arleigh Burke for instance, the Navy Chief of Staff, and more particularly with Tommy White, very seldom with anybody in the Army.

COLLINS: Tommy White was Air Force?

GLENNAN: Tommy White was the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Jim Douglas was secretary of the Air Force and Tom Gates was the Secretary of the Navy, and Arleigh Burke was the Chief of Naval Operations. They were good friends. We had dinner in their homes. I don't think I had any of them in my home. But we were perfectly frank and open with them. The Navy's particular interests were in a program called Transit, and we worked closely with them, and I guess did much of the work on the damned thing to start with. They must operate that program themselves now. I don't know anything about it.

COLLINS: The thesis of Wally McDougall's book,1 which I think you've looked at?

GLENNAN: I've read it.

COLLINS: I am not exactly sure what the best way is to phrase this, but in comparing the Soviet Union program, which was entirely closed, with the United States program, which was divided along in two parts, a civilian part and a military part which was essentially closed to public scrutiny, he presents the notion that in some sense, the civilian part of the program, NASA, deflected interest and scrutiny away from the military activity. In the case of the U-2, you seemed to have a situation where a civilian element was used to provide a cover for the military activity.

GLENNAN: I think that's probably a rational bit of thinking. To my knowledge, that's the only program where there was a cross-over, and it wasn't between the military, it was with the (Central Intelligence Agency) CIA. It was started in NACA, and of course had to come over then when NACA became NASA. And as I say, I didn't learn of it for perhaps two months after I'd taken over NASA. It wasn't a daily part of our existence. We had a briefing about once in four or five months from somebody in the CIA. I think it was Herb Scoville.

COLLINS: Scoville was certainly somewhere in there.

GLENNAN: Scoville, yes. We had a briefing from him as to what was going on, and that's the only thing we did.

COLLINS: Just one thing I was working towards in this last bit of discussion that we had, was a sense in which at the upper policy levels, National Security Council and other elements of the executive office, there was an intellectual integration of civilian policy and military or intelligence policy with respect to space.


COLLINS: Resuming our discussion, would you like me to repeat that question?


COLLINS: I think, in this last bit of discussion that we werehaving, what I was in part trying to work at was a sense in which, given the events with the U-2, you indicate was kind of an isolated thing that had certain historical roots outside of NASA, and the general question of the concern in both the military missile activity and NASA's origins in Sputnik, to what degree there was an integration of civilian and military thinking about space activity.

GLENNAN: Probably not to the degree that would have been best for all concerned. Particularly was that true in the development of the launch vehicles, when we got into multi-stage launchers. NACA knew a great deal about propulsion, fuels, use of hydrogen. The X-1 was a hydrogen-fueled plane. The NACA knew a great deal about structures, but I don't think they'd put them together into a rocket configuration, although most certainly their contribution as time went on became more and more important. We had to beef up the Atlas. We had to strengthen it so it could take a second and third stage. And when we finally acquired ABMA and von Braun, we did our own thing. Up to that time, the Army had the Redstone, which was built by Chrysler for them. The rocket itself. I guess Rocketdyne--I can't separate these names--who built the engine, really, outside of Aerojet and the smaller-- Rocketdyne built the engines, and we controlled that big engine, the F-1 engine, completely, and the improvements in the H-1 or 2, whatever they were. I would guess the Air Force, which had been given the long haul missile business as against the Army, which had been given the short haul--Mr. Truman's decision, as I recall it--they wouldn't have much time for the capabilities of NASA in that field. They didn't have any themselves. They got the Space Technology Laboratories, which was a wonderful acquisition, and did a very good job of it. But with respect to spacecraft, I guess we in NASA went along almost by ourselves. There was certainly interchange, because of the Navy's interest in Transit, the ARPA, and the Air Force interest in communication satellites. You recall, they had one that somehow or other repeated a message back from Ike at Christmas time. I guess that was in 1958 Christmas.

COLLINS: Must have been '59 Christmas.

GLENNAN: Was it '59?


GLENNAN: I'm sure that at the working level there was crossover exchange on that type of thing, and certainly through the Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board, which was effective. I don't know why they stopped that board. They would have been a hell of a lot better off with the Challenger if they'd kept it going.

COLLINS: So what you see is interaction on the nitty gritty technical level. You mentioned launch vehicles, spacecraft, satellites, interchanges at the staff level, but in terms of developing some kind of intellectual integration of space policy to span governmental activity?

GLENNAN: No, I don't think that that either occurred or occurred to me. I, as I've said, kept in touch with the Secretaries and the Chiefs of Staff and I had nothing to hide from them. We were completely in the open. When we wanted to get something from them, we had to go get it. I guess I was so busy that I didn't worry very much. We had our plate full, and I don't know that we suffered any because we didn't get more closely integrated with their astronautics development work.

    I will say this, that as we matured, and this would be in the second half of my administration, particularly, after we got Dick Horner, we were running into a great deal of difficulty in getting top level management people who knew something about just the business of building and flying airplanes and not necessarily rockets. I was paid $22,500 a year for the two and a half years I was there. I think Dick Horner, we probably could pay him 20 or 21 thousand dollars a year, and Hugh Dryden was paid, I think, just 500 dollars less than I. I offered $75,000 to one person at General Dynamics. Wouldn't touch it. So with Dick's help and knowledge, having been the Assistant Secretary for R and D in the Air Force for a number of years, we identified some people. Don Ostrander, who became the assistant associate administrator or something like that for launch vehicles. In one of those interchanges that occurred two or three times, we began having the research centers report to an element of the headquarters rather than directly to the associate administrator. Don, I think, did report--or von Braun did report to Don Ostrander. I can't remember by name other people, but I'm sure that we also acquired other military people willing to work in our operation. It was a great source. Tommy White was very helpful in that, Arleigh Burke as well, although I don't really recall the people that we got from the Navy, other than (Naval Research Laboratory) NRL, from whom we took Vanguard, and some from the Army Signal Corps who became interested in the Tiros and the communications satellites.

COLLINS: Why don't we leave that? I think what I'd like to do is perhaps see if I can dig up some of these Presidential level-type policy statements, and perhaps at a later time, let you see them for your comment and see if you can add anything to the record. Basically what I'm trying to do today is kind of follow through.

GLENNAN: I'll tell you, I think you're going to have to finish up in 30 minutes.

COLLINS: Okay. Follow through a theme about the framework available to you to get the job done. We've discussed the Symington Committee and the role that had in encouraging development of the long-range plan.

GLENNAN: That was only an individual instance, encouraging the start of that long-range plan. I don't recall having many more meetings with the Symington Committee.

COLLINS: Right. I guess what I'm saying is, I sort of see the Symington Committee instance, your letter in the fall to Eisenhower, and then an effort to have the Space Act recast to better reflect the state of affairs, as all related in a sense.

GLENNAN: Perhaps. Yes.

COLLINS: I thought we might just talk a little bit now about your efforts to get the Space Act modified.

GLENNAN: That was, I would almost want to say, an action in which I had the complete support of the President. He didn't know what to do with the Space Council. It was made up of people, you may recall who they were: Secretary of State, Secretary of DOD, the chairman of the AEC, Alan Waterman from the National Science Foundation, and three others, John Ruttaliata, Jimmy Doolittle, and Bill Burden. They weren't sufficiently involved in the day-to-day problems of NASA to be of much assistance. What I had wanted was an advisory group that I could call together periodically, and by periodically I would mean at least once a month, to look at what we were doing and to advise with us on those things. I substituted for that several advisory committees that had short life but did useful things. Ike, I think, must have initiated perhaps the idea of dropping the National Space Council.

We put the language together, and took it to the White House counsel, with Herb York and Jim Douglas and finally, I guess Neil McIlroy or Tom Gates--I've forgotten when Tom took over as Secretary of Defense. We agreed on abolishing the Military Liaison Committee and had agreed on another kind of working level group. I don't mean to denigrate working level to the very lower echelons. They were probably in the second or third echelon of our operation. Jim Douglas came up with the name, Aeronautics and Astronomics Coordinating Committee. I went up to the Hill, with Ike's agreement and the agreement of his advisors in the White House, General Persons, Jerry Morgan I guess was his general counsel and Bryce Harlow. We met with Styles Bridges and with Overton Brooks and a man whose name always escapes me in the House, Joe Martin from the New England, Boston area, and laid out for them what was in our minds. They thought it would be useful --I suspect that Bryce Harlow had much to do with this--to have a session at the White House between the Senate group and Ike, with myself detailing what these two changes were, and the next morning to have a breakfast meeting with the House group - Joe Martin and Overton Brooks. He was elderly, well-recognized, but it isn't nice to say, I think damn near approaching senility.

    In any event, we had Styles and Lyndon Johnson, Bryce Harlow and myself, with the President. We were in the family quarters, and he poured a drink, bourbon and branch water. I described why the Space Council didn't work, and what I really thought ought to be done, which was to have a broadly based advisory committee, advisory to me. I reported to the President. It took two drinks to get Lyndon around to the point where he just listened. "Well," he said, "Mr. President, if that's what you want, that's what you'll get. You wanted this other in the first place." Ike told me afterwards that he had not wanted the President to be chairman of the Space Council. It's an operating task, and the President shouldn't be chairman of it. He had too many other things to do.

COLLINS: And that was essentially Ike's objection to it?

GLENNAN: Yes. And then it was made up of people who themselves did not appear. I recall that we had maybe five or six meetings and at only a couple of them, the Secretaries appeared. They sent a deputy of some sort. So you really weren't getting at real policy level, if you had to worry about something of importance. The one who was most interested in all those things was John McCone of the AEC at the time. He was only interested in bigger and better bangs, having rockets--as he called them, I called them launch vehicles, that really would carry the warheads and so he translated that over into carrying heavier spacecraft.

     Back to the White House meetings--we completed the senate session, and the next morning, Overton Brooks and Joe Martin, and Bryce and myself had breakfast with the President. As we walked in, Ike took me aside and he said, "Keith, when you've sold it once, stop." He said, "You went on and on last night. You told them three times." I learned something from that. And we had no trouble with the House. They, I think, finally approved the proposed legislation. But contrary to what Lyndon had said, "If that's what you want, Mr. President, that's what you'll get," Lyndon never brought that bill to the floor. I think it would have been in his preparedness committee that it was first dealt with. I remember calling him several times and saying, "But Lyndon, you told the President that you were going to approve it." "Aw, let's leave that for the next President." This was getting on to where Lyndon was tasting the Presidency himself. And so the bill died. The law was changed to eliminate the Military Liaison Committee, and the Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board was established by Jim Douglas and myself, I guess. I don't recall whether it was an Executive Order of the President or not but it might have been and became a very useful thing. And should have been kept going. I don't know when it was dropped out of the picture, but it must have been in the end of Jim Webb's time.

COLLINS: So the modifications to the Space Act dropped the Space Council.

GLENNAN: No, the modifications approved dropped the Military Liason Committee (MLC).

COLLINS: When changes were made early in Kennedy's administration, the President's role was dropped and the Vice President (Lyndon Johnson) became Chairman of the Council. In the management of the space program, fundamentally. If I remember correctly, it also changed some of the language indicating military and civilian responsibilities, is that correct?

GLENNAN: I don't recall that. I don't remember that there was any change. There was no change, there may have been clarification, because in the law it said that anything that was definitely of a military character would be developed by the military, and that all information which we might develop in our civilian activities that had a military impact would be given to the military, and that was not changed.

COLLINS: One of the concerns that you had with the original Space Act was the implication that there was a national space program, which encompassed both the military and civilian activity. I thought one of the reasons you were looking to have this changed in the law was to help draw a distinction between the two.

GLENNAN: Oh, that may well be the case, Marty. I don't remember wasting a hell of a lot of time on that question, but I guess that I thought that the military had their hands full with getting reliable ballistic missiles of various ranges, ICBMs and IRBMS, etc. and even the Army's Honest John or whatever it was. I guess that as I think back to it now, what we were doing in communications satellites, I did not realize myself the importance of communications to the military. I think I felt that what we were doing would be of great use to the military.

    During my time there, the military were developing a communications satellite, but I didn't pay much attention to it, if any. It was like that Christmas message of Ike's that came from space, but what did it mean? We were going through the business of Echo and then a number of satellites at maybe five or six thousand miles above the earth, so that you'd have to have switching between them, and then finally, the geostationary satellite. And I think, I don't really recall adequately, correctly, that there was an agreement on who was going to develop what. I don't recall what the agreement was. We certainly were given the task of building all the big boosters. Mr. Eisenhower assigned that to us, when we took Saturn and started that, although it had been started of course by the Army at ABMA with von Braun. But I don't really recall how that communications satellite business was decided. I guess I became more and more understanding of the military's need for and effective use of a military communications command and control satellite system. From the beginning, I understood their need for the spy satellite, Midas and those things. It's interesting, I don't recall paying much attention to who was building them for them or anything like that. As I say, we were busy. The DOD did develop the Martin Marietta's Titan family for launching their intelligence and communications satellites.

COLLINS: Getting back to the Space Act, do you recall whether Lyndon Johnson set down any particular viewpoint about change in the law?

GLENNAN: No. The only thing that he said to me was, "Oh, well Keith, let's just leave this to the next administration," because it was getting on into the summer of l960. And then you remember that the law was changed early in Kennedy's administration, making Lyndon the chairman of the Space Council, and setting Ed Welch up. We never really staffed the Space Council. One of my assistants, Frank Phillips, became the executive secretary, on a part-time basis. He and I would work out the agenda for a meeting, if we were to have a meeting, and I don't recall having more than, as I say, in the 30 months I was there, half a dozen meetings. I recall that one of those had to do with getting a DX priority for Saturn, for the development of Saturn.

COLLINS: What is a DX?

GLENNAN: DX priority was the highest priority, so that you could acquire anything you wanted without let or hindrance. You didn't have to wait in line for other orders to be filled. You went to the head of the line. It could be that Mercury had that same priority, but we were much further along with Mercury. But my recollection is that the DX was given to us for Saturn, and that that was a matter of discussion in the Space Council while I was there. I suspect, and this is just dredging things out of the atmosphere, I'm afraid, that some portion of our discussion was the manning discussion, how did we get people of the ilk of Bob Seamans and others of that stature? I worked very hard on that myself. I guess as hard as on anything, trying to get the staff put together.

COLLINS: I think for our record here, if you can recall, it would be useful to know how you did come to recruit Dr. Seamans.

GLENNAN: Well, I had visited with Dick Morse, who was the Assistant Secretary of R and D for the Navy. And Dick Horner. Our relationships were much closer with the Air Force than we had with any of the other services. ABMA and the Army were antagonistic. They were a contractor for us in the early days. We finally had to buy Junos from them, let them launch them for us. I had offered the job of associate administrator, which was my staff's preference, as to title, as against having a general manager. I took the general manager over from my experience at the AEC, where you had five Commissioners and a general manager who was "Mr. Inside" and really ran the operation. That's what I was looking for, someone who would leave my time and Hugh's time free, to really oversee the quality of the scientific effort and the relationships with the scientific community and the international community; and my time as the head man trying to make decisions, dealing with the White House and with the Congress. Now your question?

COLLINS: Was how you came to recruit Dr. Seamans.

GLENNAN: Oh. Dick Horner had refused my invitation. He had children just reaching college age. He'd been a test pilot and he'd been in government most of his life, and I don't know what they paid over there, but I suppose it was $17,000 for an assistant secretary, something like that, and he had to go out and make some money. Dick Morse wasn't that much interested. He was an entrepreneurial sort, wanted to run his own business, and thought he could make it, and he did make it later on, very well. Dick Horner was on board now by this time but he had come for one year only and he held me to that, and I held to it. So for six months I'd been looking for somebody. I remember one whose name I shouldn't use, I think, who refused--Frank, the head of General Dynamics or had been the head of General Dynamics.

COLLINS: Frank Pace?

GLENNAN: Yes. Frank Pace. I got him to intercede for me, and then offered 75,000 bucks. I don't know how I did that. Didn't have the money. But he wouldn't come. And one morning, I just was getting beside myself, because I was going to lose Dick, who had done a very, very fine job for us and really had the flow between the military and ourselves in hand, had the development of reporting systems and measuring systems in the sense of how fast or slow we were going in meeting our objectives. And Dick Morse called me one day and told me about a man in Boston who was running a plant, building a small missile of some sort for the DOD. I think it was RCA.

COLLINS: Right. That's correct.

GLENNAN: It was Bob Seamans who had been offered the job of science advisor to SHAPE in Europe, and he was going over at the end of the week for interviews. And I said, "Well, that's hardly a fair thing for me to do, Dick. I appreciate having the information, but I don't like to butt in and compete that way, so I'll just keep looking." Later that afternoon, something happened that made me change my mind, and I called him and I said, "Dick, what was the name of that chap and where can I reach him?" He gave me Bob Seaman's name and where I could reach him. I called Bob, and I said, "Dr. Seamans, you don't know me, but I'm Keith Glennan, the administrator of-- " "Oh, I know of you," said Bob. And I said, "Is it possible that you could come down to see me tomorrow or within the next few days?" And he said, "No, I don't think so. I'm about to go to Europe." I said, "I understand that you're under consideration for a high appointment over there." I said, "Suppose I come to Boston and we have dinner together tonight?" He said, "All right, I'll be glad to do that." So I got on a plane and went to Boston, and I came back that same night. We talked I suppose for two or three hours. The result was that he came down to see me and took the job a week later. Didn't go to Europe. His wife Jean is a lovely person. She said, "Bob learned one thing from that. If you want somebody, go see them." That's the way Bob Seamans came.

COLLINS: Do you recall how you described the job of general manager or associate administrator to him?

GLENNAN: No. Except that I described, I'm sure, what Dick Horner had been able to do for us. I'm sure that in that conversation, I described the office of the administrator as being an office that consisted of Hugh Dryden, myself, and Dick Horner, with often Johnny Johnson, my general counsel, being called in. So I said, "What I want is somebody to run": a "Mr. Inside" and "Mr. Outside", in the West Point football era of greatness. I've forgotten who they were, but I used that analogy, I'm sure, that I wanted a Mr. Inside to manage our programs, manage the staff. He would be the third man in the triumvirate. He outlasted all of us!

COLLINS: All right. I think we should perhaps close it off here for today.


COLLINS: Thanks very much.

1 Walter A. McDougall, The Heavens and the Earth.

Glennan 5 || Table of Contents

Rev. 09/06/96

© 1996 National Air and Space Musuem