Shawnee, Oklahoma: 1963. Unbound. The noveltydollar bill is approximately 7.5” x 3” and features a portrait of Cooper on the reverse along with the state seal of Oklahoma and an image of the earth overprinted with “22” and 22 orbital circles. The reverse has two circular images, one of a teepee and one of Cooper’s Mercury spacecraft, “Faith 7,” along with the legend “From Redman to Spaceman.” The bill is crisp and mint without a trace of wear or soiling. The city of Shawnee, Oklahoma issued these commemorative novelty bills in 1963 after Cooper successfully completed his first space flight. As new. Item #009341
Gordon Cooper was one of the seven original American astronauts. His flight in the Faith 7 capsule stretched the capabilities of the Mercury spacecraft to the limits. The mission, May 15 and 16, 1963, lasted more than 34 hours and 22 orbits. That was more than three times the longest U.S. human space flight until that time and far exceeded the initial design capability of the capsule. During his flight, Cooper also became the first astronaut to sleep in space. Although Cooper was from Shawnee, Oklahoma, despite the bill’s proclamation, “From Redman to Spaceman,” he was not a Native American. However, the first Native American to fly in space was another Oklahoman. John Harrington, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, was a mission specialist on the Endeavor space shuttle during its Nov-Dec 2002 mission where he twice walked in space. As of 2019, none are for sale in the trade and none are held by institutions. Although the Rare Book Hub and LiveAuctioneers show no auction sale records, one similar bill has sold on eBay.