By Tom Emery 

War of the Worlds rocked radio listeners


November 2, 2022

A seemingly innocent fictional radio broadcast caused panic in the streets in 1938.

Sunday, Oct. 30, marked the anniversary of the national radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, which was misunderstood by many listeners as an actual attack on Earth by Martians. An estimated 9 to 12 million Americans were frightened by the broadcast.

The broadcast on CBS Radio was a dramatic interpretation of the 1898 novel of the same name by British author H.G. Wells. In an era before television, radio was a prime form of entertainment, and millions of Americans tuned in to hear news bulletins, live...

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