Sputnik 2, a Soviet spacecraft, was launched in 1957. The Russian spacecraft was the second craft to be launched into earth orbit. It carried the first animal, a dog named Laika, into space. Unfortunately, the dog died hours into the mission from excessive heat and stress.
Ghana celebrates Independence Day. It became free from the rule of Great Britain in 1957. According to the CIA World Factbook, Ghana is a bit smaller than the state of Oregon. Located on the southern coast of West Africa, the country surrounds Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. About 25 million people live in Ghana. Accra is the capital, and farmers grow cocoa, rice, and coffee.
First national curling championships were held in 1957. Today about 1.5 million people participate in curling events. Children could learn more about curling at: http://www.worldcurling.org/.
Malaysia celebrates Independence Day, granted from the United Kingdom in 1957. The country, located in Southeast Asia, has an area about equal to the area of New Mexico. The country has two main portions: part of the peninsula shared by Thailand and the northern portion of Borneo. Almost 30 million people live in this tropical country. The capital is Kuala Lumpur.