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Old Fashioned Radio Show - War of the Worlds

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We will be broadcasting the original War of the Worlds broadcast that was aired on radio in 1938. The War of the Worlds (1898), by H. G. Wells, is an early science fiction novel which describes an invasion of Earth by aliens from Mars. It is one of the earliest and best-known depictions of an alien invasion of Earth, and has influenced many others, as well as spawning several films, radio dramas, comic book adaptations, and a television series based on the story. The 1938 radio broadcast caused public outcry against the episode, as many listeners believed that an actual Martian invasion was in progress, a notable example of mass hysteria.

The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast was presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual Martian invasion was in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a 'sustaining show' (i.e., it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the dramatic effect. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic, careful research has shown that while thousands were frightened, there is no evidence that people fled their homes or otherwise took action. The news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode launched Welles to fame.

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