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The War of the Worlds!Orson Welles' Oct. 30, 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds," based on the English author H.G. Wells tale of a Martian invasion, startled many listeners who thought Martians were really attacking. Here are some photos relating to the historic broadcast.
Here Welles, an American actor, director and producer, stands with British author H.G. Wells following the attention-grabbing radio show. [Listen to the 'War of the Worlds' Radio Broadcast!]
NEXT: Spreading Outrage
Spreading OutrageSlide 2 of 17
Spreading OutragePart of the furor over Welles' radio broadcast was its apparent authenticity. To recreate "War of the Worlds" (originally a book set in England), Welles "interrupted" a music performance and used actors to stage news reports from an apparent Martian invasion in Grover's Mill, New Jersey. This surprised some listeners who missed the broadcast's opening, which stated up front it was a work of fiction.
On Oct. 31, 1938, newspapers published headlines regarding the dramatization and the responses from the public. The Daily News' front page headline read "Fake Radio 'War' Stirs Terror Through U.S."
Orson Welles, interviewed after the broadcast, conveyed surprise at the public response.
NEXT: Preparing for the ShowSlide 3 of 17
Ready for the ShowSlide 4 of 17
Ready for the ShowThe "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast was part of Welles' "Mercury Theater on the Air" program on CBS, which broadcast from Radio City in New York. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the program was a relatively low-budget affair that had been running for 17 weeks. At the time of the broadcast, it didn't have a sponsor.
In this image, Welles is seen rehearsing his part for the historic broadcast.
NEXT: The Man, Orson WellesSlide 5 of 17
The ManSlide 6 of 17
The ManSince the broadcast was scheduled for near Halloween, Welles was reportedly looking for something different with "War of the Worlds." After discussions with producers, he settled on a mock-news format, with exciting bulletins interrupting a dance music program. He used his genius to create a realistic enough production of H.G. Well's "The War of the Worlds" to terrify thousands of Americans into believing New Jersey was being invaded by martians on Oct. 30, 1938.
In this image Welles, seen in the background with raised hands, directs a rehearsal for one of his radio plays.
NEXT: Prepping for the Big NightSlide 7 of 17
Prepping for the Big NightSlide 8 of 17