War Of The Worlds

October 30, 1938, Orson Welles' broadcast of a radio play based on the novel The War of the Worlds is said to have caused widespread panic with its use of mimicking broadcast news styles. Stories claim that there were numerous suicides during and after the program as people did not realize that the broadcast was a dramatization.

Jane Louise was 16 year old high school student who normally went to her church youth group on Sunday evenings. After wards the whole group would head off to the ice cream parlor for the cherry on top. Even though the depression was easing, a trip for a cone or a sundae was still a big treat for her.

That night as they left the church, they were greeted with alarming stories of a Martian invasion. Instead of ice cream, Jane Louise went home to be with the rest of her family.

By the time she arrived home, the show was over. Any panic in Reading, Pennsylvania was being replaced by the knowledge that the Martians were all part of getting ready for Halloween. There were no Martian invaders. Even worse Orson Welles' famous broadcast had prevented her Sunday night sundae.

Lee McGavin Leander, TX 2009

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