Anniversary: War of the Worlds

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From PBS American Experience:

Shortly after 8 p.m. on the Halloween Eve, 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin reporting strange explosions taking place on the planet Mars, followed minutes later by a report that Martians had landed in the tiny town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Although most listeners understood that the program was a radio drama, the next day’s headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced that America was under a deadly Martian attack. It turned out to be H.G. Wells’ classic The War of the Worlds, performed by 23-year-old Orson Welles.

Needless to say, people were pissed. I guess they’d never heard of a mockumentary before.

You can watch the documentary “War of the Worlds” online here.

Image via WikiCommons

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Mom, nurse, pet lover, burlesquer, avid reader, craft brew fanatic. In love with all things science!


  1. alumiere November 5, 2013 at 4:39 am

    FYI, both PBSs and NPRs stories on this didn’t do the investigation part well. It’s mostly a myth, pushed by the newspapers after the show aired to demonize radio. has details, which I just learned today!

  2. Chris November 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Thanks for the information. I had no idea!

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