War Of The Worlds
Eighty-three years ago, on October 30, 1938, the Martians 'invaded' Grover's Mill, New Jersey in Orson Welles' radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds", adapted by Howard Koch. Introduced as part of CBS Radio's "Mercury Theater on the Air" program, some radio listeners heard only a portion of the broadcast, and in the atmosphere of tension and anxiety leading to World War II, took it to be an actual news broadcast. And although Welles himself broke character at the end of the broadcast and assured audiences that what they had been listening to was nothing more than a 'dramatization' offered in the spirit of Halloween, real panic indeed ensued; newspapers reported that people were fleeing the area, others thinking they could smell poison gas or could see flashes of lightning in the distance.