75 Years Ago: The War Of The Worlds   1 comment

It was incredibly frightening.

It remains the most famous radio broadcast, ever.

Why was it so incredible? Because radio is theater of the mind. With a minimal amount of information – a soundtrack – your mind fills in the blanks to visualize what must be happening. And that is exactly what happened on October 30, 1938 … and it made people quake in fear.


It’s a classic science fiction story by HG Wells, written in 1898, introduced the idea of an alien invasion into British literature. Orson Welles took that idea, and ran with it to create the radio show that literally sent its listeners running into the streets in terror. His Mercury Theatre produced a radio drama with disclaimers before and after the performance that the told the audience that the show was a fiction; that there was nothing to fear.

It’s estimated that 6 million people listened to that original broadcast on WCBS-AM and the Columbia Broadcasting System network. The next morning, their reaction was on the front page of every major newspaper in the United States. A somewhat contrary view is espoused by Slate.com, link below … but there is no contesting that this radio event is the most famous single broadcast in radio history.


YouTube: War Of The Worlds

National Geographic: War Of The Worlds

Slate.com: The Myth Of The War Of The Worlds Panic

One response to “75 Years Ago: The War Of The Worlds

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.