Orson Wells — War Of The Worlds, 1968 The original broadcast that panicked the nation. The actual broadcast by The Mercury Theatre On The Air as heard over the Columbia Broadcasting System, October, 30 1938.
79 years ago tonight, Orson Welles broadcast his 'War of the Worlds' radio drama on the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network as part of his anthology series 'The Mercury Theatre on the Air'. An adaptation of the 1898 H.G. Wells novel of the same name.
A large portion of the show involved news broadcasts interrupting "regularly scheduled" music to report on explosions on Mars, as well as an unidentified object crashing into a field in New Jersey. What followed was a full blown alien invasion.
Many accounts claim that the broadcast led to widespread panic, but some consider this to be an exaggeration. The radio drama did begin with a disclaimer that it was a work of fiction, though some believe that many listeners tuned into the broadcast after the caveat, having previously been listening to another program by host Edgar Bergen. Whatever really happened, it's a damn cool yarn to think about. Happy Halloween!
October 30, 1938 - Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, "The Mercury Theatre on the Air" broadcasts its infamous rendition of the H.G. Lewis classic, "The War of the Worlds" on the CBS radio network. Allegedly it created mass-hysteria due to people assuming it was a real broadcast of events.