The Presidency by Hugh Sidey: Haunting Music of the Spheres

There is a small but durable group of people in Washington who remember the night of Oct. 4, 1957. The city changed—and the world too. At the Soviet embassy on 16th Street that evening, about 50 scientists from 13 nations, members of the International Geophysical Year rocket and satellite conference, were gathered at a cocktail party when the New York Times's Walter Sullivan was tugged away to the phone. He returned with a startled look on his face and whispered to Physicist Lloyd Berkner, who then rapped for silence on the hors d'oeuvre table. "I wish to make an...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!