There you have it the first SANDMAN story. Or is it? The prevailing info seems to indicate that it was the first written and drawn but that another SANDMAN story by the same team (see splash panel below) appeared on the stands weeks earlier in DC's one-shot (that became a two-shot) NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR COMICS, an anthology combining stories of most of the company's most popular characters to that point.
The character would continue to appear in this incarnation for a few years and be included in the legendary JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA, the first "superhero group." The later costumed superhero version, along with sidekick Sandy, would have a long and popular run with the majority of their adventures done by the team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Revived in the sixties and then in an all-new version in the seventies, writer Neil Gaiman would cleverly tie-in and tie-up the mythos and go a whole different direction in the creation of his award-winnning SANDMAN series of the nineties.
Sheldon Moldoff would become well-known for the obvious use of photo-refernce in his HAWKMAN and BLACK PIRATE strips. Clearly he had perfected same in his various sports and movie-related one-pagers in the DC titles.
Little by little over the next few months, changes would start taking place. Big changes. Adventurous changes!