Sputnik Crash Site in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Driving down 8th Street in Manitowoc, you may pass by an inconspicuous brass ring embedded in the middle of the road. While the ring may not appear to be anything extraordinary upon first glance, it actually marks the crash site of the Soviet satellite Sputnik, a piece of astronomical history that has given rise to one of the most bizarre festivals in Wisconsin.

The brass ring in 8th Street is a memorial to a 20-pound piece of space junk that struck the town on September 5, 1962, after...

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