This DVD takes the viewer into the ethos of the 1950's: The shock at the success of "backwards" USSR, the beginnings of suburbia, the H-bomb and its relegation of the Hiroshima A-bomb to a firecracker, the Cold War and Civil Defense efforts, and the celebration of the new space age in popular culture. It features Nikita Khrushchev's thunderous ovations, as well as interviews with son Sergei Khrushchev.
This DVD features President Eisenhower, whose political opponents accused him of being insufficiently concerned about the Soviet successes. It also includes his famous "military-industrial complex" speech. The commentator credits the fact that both Eisenhower and Khrushchev were of military backgrounds for their avoidance of WWIII. Another politician featured is Hubert Humphrey.
Footage is included of newspapers reporting Sputnik, of the young David Brinckley and Walter Cronkite, of telescopes set up to see the new "Russian moon", the outrage over the dog Laika sent to space to die in Sputnik II, the growing panic of the USA having lost her leadership and prestige, the awareness of danger to the free world, the humiliating failure of Vanguard 1 ("flopnik", "kaputnik"), the heady success Explorer 1, of Werner von Braun and his efforts, and of the success in heading off the impending militarization of space in favor of civilian space exploration.