Not scared of Martians

11/1/1938

On October 30, 1938, the popular Mercury Theater broadcast a radio play directed by Orson Welles, entitled “Invasion from Mars." This adaptation of H.G.Wells' novel "War of the Worlds" dramatized a surprise attack on a town in New Jersey. Many took the radio play to be real -- causing widespread panic. Not everyone took to the streets however, and many, like the writer of this letter, felt that others were overreacting. Text adapted from “The War of the Words: Letters to the FCC Regarding Orson Welles’s 1938 Broadcast” in the May/June 2002 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication Social Education.

National Archives, Records of the Federal Communications Commission


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