Tuesday, October 30, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Day Twelve

On this date in 1938, many parts of the country were thrown into a panic by a broadcast of an adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds. Orson Welles produced the adaptation for the Mercury Theater of the Air, framed as a series of fictional news bulletins simulating an invasion of the Earth by invaders from Mars.

People have debated for decades just why the country was so willing to be fooled by the broadcast, and the question of whether or not Welles had an inkling of what would happen was never answered. It is certain that he denied it at a later Congressional hearing, but in subsequent interviews he answered the question rather coyly, implying that he might have known what could happen.

Here is the 1938 broadcast, in its entirety:


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