So, fifty years ago today was the first time people tossed anything far enough into space that it stayed there for a while. This anniversary seemed like a great excuse to phone my mother (who lives in the US) to see what she recalled of that day.
She remembered it as being exciting -- said that it proved that man really could explore space. She did say it was surprising that it was Russia who did it first. Still, she thought there doing it was probably a good motivator. According to her, "It got us going."
I maybe guess you had to be there to realize its importance. It's hard now to imagine a sky without flashes of light zipping across it. Heck, even Blogger thoughts must rely on satellites to get from my computer to yours.