The War of the Worlds Effect : RadioLab


Oct 30, 1938, Orson Welles famously performed a 60-minute radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ alien invasion story, The War of the Worlds. Here we have a documentary about the phenomenon by RadioLab.

The Infamous “War of the Worlds” program was part of a series called The Mercury Theater featured an hour of radio drama aired on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). It scared the daylights out of the American public.

The show was performed without any commercial breaks. It also contained a series of fictional news bulletins. Many listeners casually tuned in after the initial announcements that the program was a radio play.

Welles performing,The Mercury Theater on the Air, 1938

The public was already on edge because of the looming war overseas. Many folks actually believed that the earth was under attack by extraterrestrial beings from the Planet Mars.

The news made the front page of the New York Times. There was an immediate backlash. An enraged public demanded an explanation. Public hearings were held to get to the bottom of the resulting scandal.

Download MP3

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • NOTE: PODCASTS DISCONTINUED. This pages remain for archival purposes only. Please check out our live stream instead!
  • LISTEN WITH OUR DELUXE PLAYER

  • LISTEN WITH TUNE-IN (APP)