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Reliving Radio History This Halloween

468px-Orson_Welles_1937

This Halloween marks the 71st anniversary of the night The Mercury Theater aired a live production of the H.G. Wells story of a Martian invasion, The War of the Worlds.

At least two websites are offering streaming versions of this historic event that “panicked America.” Produced by and starring Orson Welles, the chilling tale was told as though the radio broadcasters themselves were part of the story at first.

Soon, the conditioned ears of the listeners took the news events coming out of their radios as the truth, and, while there is some speculation of reports like this:

[P]anic ensued, people fleeing the area, others thinking they could smell poison gas or could see flashes of lightning in the distance.

It’s still fascinates to this day. The actual 1938 broadcast of the show is going to be streamed live at WarOfTheWorldsTribute at 8:00pm EST on the 30th of October, and it’s really worth a listen.

Also, on Halloween night, student radio station WKNC will do the same with a modernized version here at 7:00pm.

via kottke. | Photo: Orson Welles (Wikimedia Commons)

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Date
October 29th, 2009

Author
Stranger to the World

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