Happy Birthday to Sputnik!
That's right, today is the birthday of the flight of Sputnik in orbit around our little blue planet. In a way, it was both the most amazing and most frightening thing in a time when one world war had ended and people were deathly afraid that another would occur (with the Russians obviously). But, seeing how, in theory, the Cold War has ended and, in theory, we're semi-decent buddies with Russia, for however long that will last, we should pay some respects to that little spacecraft that captured the world for a rather brief moment in time.
For a little more info, Sputnik flew for about 3 months and then dropped out of orbit. The interesting thing is that you could actually pick up the beep of its transmitter (or whatever it was that was sending the beep in the first place) on little radio receivers--you know, those ones that people used to use to talk to people in other cities sort of as a hobby. In a world afraid of nuclear war that's a rather frightening thing.
So, Happy Birthday Sputnik!
For more information check this article out by ABC.