The War of the Worlds (radio drama)

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The War of the Worlds
Orson Welles 1937.jpg
Orson Welles in 1937
GenreRadio drama
Running time62 minutes
Home stationCBS Radio
Host(s)The Mercury Theatre on the Air
AnnouncerDan Seymour
Director(s)Orson Welles
Producer(s)John Houseman
Orson Welles
Exec. producer(s)Davidson Taylor (for CBS)
Narrated byOrson Welles
Recording studioColumbia Broadcasting Building, 485 Madison Avenue, New York
Air datessince October 30, 1938 (1938-10-30)
Opening themePiano Concerto No. 1, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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For the 1968 remake, see The War of the Worlds (radio 1968).
"Panic Broadcast" redirects here. For the Soilwork album, see The Panic Broadcast.
The War of the Worlds
Orson Welles 1937.jpg
Orson Welles in 1937
GenreRadio drama
Running time62 minutes
Home stationCBS Radio
Host(s)The Mercury Theatre on the Air
AnnouncerDan Seymour
Director(s)Orson Welles
Producer(s)John Houseman
Orson Welles
Exec. producer(s)Davidson Taylor (for CBS)
Narrated byOrson Welles
Recording studioColumbia Broadcasting Building, 485 Madison Avenue, New York
Air datessince October 30, 1938 (1938-10-30)
Opening themePiano Concerto No. 1, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The War of the Worlds is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds (1898).

The first two thirds of the 62-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a sustaining show (it ran without commercial breaks), adding to the program's realism. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated, particularly since the show was not drawing a large share of the radio audience. Many more Americans were listening to Edgar Bergen; however, when Bergen's opening comedy routine ended and gave way to a musical interlude, many people may have started turning the radio dial to see what else was on. Those people found a radio show that sounded like a real account of an alien attack. The show did issue a disclaimer at the beginning of the show, but the people tuning in late did not hear that announcement and so a small panic did occur. [1]

In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage in the media.[2] The program's news-bulletin format was described as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers (which had lost advertising revenue to radio) and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast and calls for regulation by the Federal Communications Commission.[1] Despite these complaints—or perhaps in part because of them—the episode secured Welles's fame as a dramatist.


H. G. Wells's original novel relates the story of an alien invasion of Earth. The radio play's story was adapted by and written primarily by Howard Koch and Anne Froelick with input from Welles and the rest of the Mercury Theatre on the Air staff. The setting was switched from 19th-century England to contemporary Grover's Mill, an unincorporated village in West Windsor Township, New Jersey in the United States. The program's format was a (simulated) live newscast of developing events. To this end, Welles played recordings of Herbert Morrison's radio reports of the Hindenburg disaster for actor Frank Readick and the rest of the cast, to demonstrate the mood he wanted.

The broadcast employed techniques similar to those of The March of Time, the CBS news documentary and dramatization radio series.[3] Welles was a member of the program's regular cast, having first performed on The March of Time in March 1935.[4] The Mercury Theatre on the Air and The March of Time shared many cast members, as well as sound effects chief Ora D. Nichols.

During preproduction, CBS's censors said the script was "too realistic" and insisted on 28 changes. Most were the names of real places, institutions and officials. Welles obliged, but he and Koch used similar-sounding terms like "Princeton Observatory" for "Princeton University" and the "Government Weather Bureau" for the United States Weather Bureau.[5]

The first two-thirds of the 60 minute play was a contemporary retelling of events of the novel, presented as news bulletins interrupting another programme. This approach was similar to Ronald Knox's satirical newscast of a riot overtaking London broadcast by the BBC in 1926, which may have influenced Welles.[6] A 1927 drama aired by Adelaide station 5CL depicted an invasion of Australia via the same techniques and inspired reactions similar to those of the Welles broadcast.[7]

Welles had been influenced by the Archibald MacLeish dramas The Fall of the City and Air Raid, the former of which had used Welles himself in the role of a live radio news reporter. However, the approach had never been taken with as much continued verisimilitude, and the innovative format has been cited[by whom?] as a key factor in the confusion that followed.

Plot summary[edit]

The program, broadcast from the 20th floor at 485 Madison Avenue in New York City, starts with an introduction from the novel, describing the intentions of the aliens and noting that the adaptation is set in 1939, a year ahead of the actual broadcast date.[8] The program continues with a weather report and an ordinary dance band remote featuring "Ramon Raquello and His Orchestra" (actually the CBS orchestra under the direction of Bernard Herrmann) that is interrupted by news flashes about strange explosions on Mars. Welles makes his first appearance as the (fictional) famous astronomer and Princeton professor Richard Pierson, who dismisses speculation about life on Mars.

The news grows more frequent and increasingly ominous as a cylindrical meteorite lands in Grover's Mill, New Jersey. A crowd gathers at the site. Reporter Carl Phillips (Readick) relates the events. The meteorite unscrews, revealing itself as a rocket machine. Onlookers catch a glimpse of a tentacled, pulsating, barely mobile Martian inside before it incinerates the crowd with Heat-Rays. Phillips's shouts about incoming flames are cut off in mid-sentence. (Later surveys indicate that many listeners heard only this portion of the show before contacting neighbors or family to inquire about the broadcast. Many contacted others in turn, leading to rumors and confusion.)

Regular programming breaks down as the studio struggles with casualty updates, firefighting developments and the like. A shaken Pierson speculates about Martian technology. The New Jersey state militia declares martial law and attacks the cylinder; a message from their field headquarters lectures about the overwhelming force of properly equipped infantry and the helplessness of the Martians in Earth's gravity until a Tripod alien fighting machine rears up from the pit.

The Martians obliterate the militia, and the studio returns, now describing the Martians as an invading army. Emergency response bulletins give way to damage reports and evacuation instructions as millions of refugees clog the roads. Three Martian tripods from the cylinder destroy power stations and uproot bridges and railroads, reinforced by three others from a second cylinder as gas explosions continue. An unnamed Secretary of the Interior (Kenny Delmar) advises the nation. (The secretary was originally intended to be a portrayal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then President, but CBS insisted this detail, among others, be changed. Welles directed Delmar to nonetheless imitate Roosevelt's voice.)

A live connection is established to a field artillery battery. Its gun crew reports damaging one machine and a release of black smoke/poison gas before fading into the sound of coughing. The lead plane of a wing of bombers broadcasts its approach and remains on the air as their engines are burned by the Heat-Ray and the plane dives on the invaders. Radio operators go active and fall silent, most right after reporting the approach of the black smoke. The bombers destroyed one machine, but cylinders are falling all across the country.

This section ends famously: A news reporter, broadcasting from atop the CBS building, describes the Martian invasion of New York City – "five great machines" wading across the Hudson River, poison smoke drifting over the city, people running and diving into the East River "like rats", others "falling like flies" – until he, too, succumbs to the poison gas. Finally, a despairing ham radio operator is heard calling, "2X2L calling CQ. Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there... anyone?"

After an intermission for station identification, in which announcer Dan Seymour mentions that the show is fiction, the last third is a monologue and dialogue. Welles returns as Professor Pierson, describing the aftermath of the attacks. The story ends, as does the novel, with the Martians falling victim to earthly pathogenic germs, to which they have no immunity.

After the play, Welles informally breaks character to remind listeners that the broadcast was a Halloween concoction, the equivalent, as he puts it, "of dressing up in a sheet, jumping out of a bush and saying, 'Boo!'". Popular mythology holds this "disclaimer" was hastily added to the broadcast at the insistence of CBS executives as they became aware of panic inspired by the program; in fact, it had appeared in Koch's working script for the play.[9]

Public reaction[edit]

The New York Times headline from October 31, 1938

Some listeners heard only a portion of the broadcast and, in the atmosphere of tension and anxiety prior to World War II, took it to be an actual news broadcast.[2] Newspapers reported that panic ensued, with people across the Northeastern United States and Canada fleeing their homes. Some people called CBS, newspapers or the police in confusion over the realism of the news bulletins.[10][11]

Future Tonight Show host Jack Paar had announcing duties that night for Cleveland CBS affiliate WGAR. As panicked listeners called the studio, Paar attempted to calm them on the phone and on air by saying, "The world is not coming to an end. Trust me. When have I ever lied to you?" When the listeners started charging Paar with "covering up the truth", he called WGAR's station manager for help. Oblivious to the situation, the manager advised Paar to calm down, saying it was "all a tempest in a teapot."[12]

In Concrete, Washington, phone lines and electricity went out due to a short-circuit at the Superior Portland Cement Company's substation. Residents were unable to call neighbors, family or friends to calm their fears. Reporters who heard of the coincidental blackout sent the story over the news-wire, and soon Concrete was known worldwide.[13]

Within one month, newspapers had published 12,500 articles about the broadcast and its impact, although the story dropped off the front pages after a few days.[1][14] Adolf Hitler cited the panic, as Richard J. Hand writes, as "evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy."[15]


Radio Digest reprinted the script of The War of the Worlds — "as a commentary on the nervous state of our nation after the Pact of Munich" — prefaced by an editorial cartoon by Les Callan of The Toronto Star (February 1939)

Later studies indicate that many missed the repeated notices about the broadcast being fictional, partly because The Mercury Theatre on the Air, an unsponsored cultural program with a relatively small audience, ran at the same time as the NBC Red Network's popular Chase and Sanborn Hour, by ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. About 15 minutes into Chase and Sanborn, the first comic sketch ended and a musical number began, and many listeners supposedly began tuning around the dial at that point. According to the American Experience program The Battle Over Citizen Kane, Welles knew the schedule of Chase and Sanborn and scheduled the first report from Grover's Mill at the 12-minute mark to heighten the audience's confusion. As a result, some listeners happened upon the CBS broadcast at the point the Martians emerge from their spacecraft. Because the broadcast was unsponsored, Welles and company could schedule breaks at will rather than structuring them around necessary advertisements. As a result, the only notices that the broadcast was fictional came at the start of the broadcast and about 40 and 55 minutes into it.

A study by the Radio Project discovered that some who panicked presumed that Germans, not Martians, had invaded.[11]

"The shadow of war was constantly in and on the air. People were on edge", wrote Welles biographer Frank Brady:

For the entire month prior to The War of the Worlds, radio had kept the American public alert to the ominous happenings throughout the world. The Munich crisis was at its height. Adolf Hitler, in his address to the annual Nazi party congress at Nuremberg in September, called for the autonomy of the Sudetenland, an area on the Czech border regions populated by three million Sudeten Germans, as they were called. Hitler ranted and lied over German radio … For the first time in history, the public could tune into their radios every night and hear, boot by boot, accusation by accusation, threat by threat, the rumblings that seemed inevitably leading to a world war.[16]


Historical research has strongly suggested the panic was less widespread than newspapers had indicated at the time. "[T]he panic and mass hysteria so readily associated with The War of the Worlds did not occur on anything approaching a nationwide dimension", American University media historian W. Joseph Campbell wrote in 2003. He quotes Robert E. Bartholomew, an authority on mass panic outbreaks, as having said that "there is a growing consensus among sociologists that the extent of the panic ... was greatly exaggerated."[11]

This position is supported by contemporary accounts. "In the first place, most people didn't hear [the show]," said Frank Stanton, later president of CBS. According to the C. E. Hooper company, the main radio ratings service at the time, only 2% of the people it called up while the program aired said they were listening to it. Many more people were listening to The Chase and Sanborn Hour, which had long been the most popular program in that timeslot. Further shrinking the potential audience, some CBS network affiliates, including some in large markets like Boston's WEEI, had pre-empted the broadcast in favor of local commercial programming.[1]

Ben Gross, radio editor for the New York Daily News, wrote in his 1954 memoir that the streets were nearly deserted as he made his way to the studio for the end of the program. The writer of a letter the Washington Post published later likewise recalled no panicked mobs in the capital's downtown streets at the time. "The supposed panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast," media historians Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow wrote in Slate on its 75th anniversary in 2013. "Almost nobody was fooled."[1]

According to Campbell, the most common response said to indicate a panic was calling the local newspaper or police to confirm the story or seek additional information. This, he writes, is an indicator that people were not generally panicking or hysterical. "The call volume perhaps is best understood as an altogether rational response ..."[11] Some New Jersey media and law enforcement agencies received up to 40 percent more telephone calls than normal during the broadcast.[17]

Newspaper coverage and response[edit]

Newspaper coverage was affected by limited resources as well. As it was late on a Sunday night in the Eastern Time Zone, where the broadcast originated, few reporters and other staff were present in newsrooms. Most coverage thus took the form of Associated Press stories, which were largely anecdotal aggregates of reporting from its various bureaus, giving the impression that panic had indeed been widespread. Many newspapers led with the AP's story the next day.[11]

On November 2, 1938, the Australian Age characterized the incident as "mass hysteria" and stated that "never in the history of the United States had such a wave of terror and panic swept the continent". Unnamed observers quoted by the Age commented that "the panic could have only happened in America."[18]

Editorialists chastised the radio industry for allowing this to happen. This response may have reflected newspaper publishers' fears that radio, to which they had lost some of the advertising revenue that was scarce enough during the Great Depression, would render them obsolete. In The War of the Worlds, they saw an opportunity to cast aspersions on the newer medium. "The nation as a whole continues to face the danger of incomplete, misunderstood news over a medium which has yet to prove," wrote Editor & Publisher, the newspaper industry's trade journal, "that it is competent to perform the news job."[1][19]

William Randolph Hearst's papers, like many others, called on broadcasters to police themselves lest the government step in, as Iowa Senator Clyde L. Herring proposed a bill that would have required all programming to be reviewed by the FCC prior to broadcast (he never actually introduced it). Others blamed the radio audience for its credulity. Noting that any intelligent listener would have realized the broadcast was fictional, the Chicago Tribune opined that "it would be more tactful to say that some members of the radio audience are a trifle retarded mentally, and that many a program is prepared for their consumption." Other newspapers took pains to note that anxious listeners had called their offices to learn whether Martians were really attacking.[11]

There are few contemporary accounts outside newspaper coverage of the mass panic and hysteria supposedly induced by the broadcast. Justin Levine, a producer at KFI-AM in Los Angeles, wrote in a 2000 history of the FCC's response to hoax broadcasts that "the anecdotal nature of such reporting makes it difficult to objectively assess the true extent and intensity of the panic.[20] Bartholomew sees this as yet more evidence that the panic was predominantly a creation of the newspaper industry.[5]


Hand cites studies by unnamed historians who "calculate[d] that some 6 million heard the CBS broadcast; 1.7 million believed it to be true, and 1.2 million were 'genuinely frightened'". NBC's audience, by contrast, was an estimated 30 million.[15] However, Pooley and Socolow wrote that the only serious contemporary study on the purported panic, Princeton professor Hadley Cantril's The Invasion from Mars, released six weeks later by the American Institute for Public Opinion, from which this conclusion appears to be drawn, has serious flaws. Its estimate of the program's audience is more than twice as high as any other at the time. Cantril conceded this, but argued that unlike Hooper his estimate had attempted to capture the significant portion of the audience that did not have home telephones at that time. Since those respondents were contacted only after the media frenzy, Cantril allowed that their recollections could have been influenced by what they read in the newspapers. Claims that Chase and Sanborn listeners who missed the disclaimer at the beginning when they turned to CBS during a commercial break or musical performance on that show and thus mistook War of the Worlds for a real broadcast inflated the show's audience and the ensuing alleged panic are impossible to substantiate.[1]

Apart from his admittedly imperfect methods of estimating the audience and assessing the authenticity of their response, Pooley and Socolow found, Cantril made another error in typing audience reaction. Respondents had indicated a variety of reactions to the program, among them "excited", "disturbed," and "frightened". Yet he included all of them with "panicked," failing to account for the possibility that despite their reaction they were still aware the broadcast was staged. "[T]hose who did hear it, looked at it as a prank and accepted it that way," recalled Stanton.[1]

Bartholomew grants that hundreds of thousands were frightened but calls evidence of people taking action based on their fear "scant" and "anecdotal".[21] Indeed, contemporary news articles indicate that police were swamped with hundreds of calls in numerous locations, but stories of people doing anything more than calling authorities mostly involve only small groups. Such stories were often reported by people who were panicking themselves.[11]

Later investigations found much of the alleged panicked responses to have been exaggerated or mistaken. Cantril's researchers found that, contrary to what had been claimed, there were no admissions for shock at a Newark hospital during the broadcast; hospitals in New York City similarly reported no spike in admissions that night. A few suicide attempts seem to have been prevented when friends or family intervened, but there was no record of a successful one. A Washington Post claim that a man died of a heart attack brought on by listening to the program could not be verified. One woman filed a lawsuit against CBS, but it was soon dismissed.[1]


In the aftermath of the reported panic, CBS responded to public outcry by pointing to reminders throughout the broadcast that it was a performance. Welles and Mercury Theatre escaped punishment but not censure; FCC chairman Frank McNinch got not only CBS but all the radio networks to agree that they would not use staged newscasts as an element of fictional dramas again.[1] The notoriety of the broadcast led the Campbell Soup Company to sponsor the show; The Mercury Theatre on the Air was renamed The Campbell Playhouse. Welles himself signed the multipicture deal with RKO Pictures that would lead to Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons.[22]

Many listeners sued the network for "mental anguish" and "personal injury". All suits were dismissed, except for a claim for a pair of black men's shoes by a Massachusetts man, who spent his shoe money to escape the Martians. Welles insisted the man be paid.[23]

CBS received nearly 2,000 letters and telegrams, the majority of which praised the network for the quality of the program. The nearly 1,500 sent to the Mercury Theatre staff were overwhelmingly positive. At the FCC, however, the correspondence was more toward the negative. Some was from public officials, like the city manager of Trenton, New Jersey, the nearest large city to the Martians' fictional landing site, who complained about how the incoming phone calls to the police had "completely crippled communication facilities of our Police Department for about three hours." Others were from citizens who urged the agency to actively censor radio to prevent this from happening in the future.[22]

Other members of the public who contacted the FCC distanced themselves from the controversy: "I was one of the thousands who heard this program and did not jump out of the window, did not attempt suicide, did not break my arm while beating a hasty retreat from my apartment, did not anticipate a horrible death, did not hear the Martians 'rapping on my chamber door,' did not see the monsters landing in war-like regalia in the park across the street, but sat serenely entertained no end by the fine portrayal of a fine play," wrote a South Dakota man. Singer Eddie Cantor urged the commission not to overreact, as "censorship would retard radio immeasurably."[22] Ultimately the agency not only chose not to punish Welles or CBS, it barred complaints about The War of the Worlds from being brought up during license renewals. "Janet Jackson's 2004 'wardrobe malfunction' remains far more significant in the history of broadcast regulation than Orson Welles' trickery," wrote Pooley and Socolow.[1]

A meeting between H.G. Wells and Orson Welles was broadcast on Radio KTSA San Antonio, a CBS affiliate, on October 28, 1940. Wells expressed a lack of understanding of the apparent panic and suggested it may have been only pretense, like the American version of Halloween, for fun. The two men and their radio interviewer joked with embarrassment about the matter.


Initially apologetic about the supposed panic his broadcast had caused (and privately fuming that newspaper reports of lawsuits were either greatly exaggerated or totally fabricated[20]), Welles later embraced the story as part of his personal myth. "Houses were emptying, churches were filling up; from Nashville to Minneapolis there was wailing in the streets and the rending of garments," he claimed to an interviewer years later.[11] CBS, too, found reports ultimately useful in promoting the strength of its influence. It presented a fictionalized account of the panic in a 1957 episode of the television series Studio One, and included it prominently in its 2003 celebrations of CBS's 75th anniversary as a television broadcaster. "The legend of the panic," according to Jefferson and Socolow, "grew exponentially over the following years ... [It] persists because it so perfectly captures our unease with the media's power over our lives."[1]

Title page of the original typescript for The War of the Worlds, on the cover of the Sotheby's auction catalog (December 14, 1988)

In 1988, the original radio script for The War of the Worlds was sold at auction at Sotheby's in New York by author Howard Koch. The typescript bears the handwritten deletions and additions of Orson Welles and producer John Houseman. It was thought to have been the only copy of the script known to survive.

"The police came in after the broadcast and seized whatever copies they could find as evidence, I suppose", Koch told The New York Times. "There was a question that we had done something that might have criminal implications." Expected to bring between $25,000 and $35,000,[24] the script sold for $143,000 — setting a record for an article of entertainment memorabilia.[25] "I had a private offer of $60,000", Koch said after selling the 46-page script, which had been in his file cabinet for years. "They advised me to take the gamble. I guess it was the right gamble."[26]

A second surviving War of the Worlds radio script — Welles's own directorial copy, given to an associate for safekeeping — was auctioned June 2, 1994, at Christie's in New York. Estimated to bring $15,000 to $20,000, the script was sold for $32,200.[27] The successful bidder was filmmaker Steven Spielberg, whose collection also includes one of the three balsa "Rosebud" sleds from Citizen Kane. Spielberg adapted The War of the Worlds for a feature film in 2005.[28][29]

The New Jersey Township of West Windsor, where Grover's Mill is located, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the broadcast in 1988 with four days of festivities including art and planetarium shows, a panel discussion, a parade, burial of a time capsule, a dinner dance, film festivals devoted to H. G. Wells and Orson Welles, and the dedication of a bronze monument to the fictional Martian landings. Howard Koch, an author of the original radio script, attended the 49th anniversary celebration as an honored guest.[30]

On 27 October 2013, BBC Radio 4extra broadcast the show at 6pm GMT to commemorate the 75th Anniversary with an introduction by George Takei. On the previous day, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an analysis of the impact the broadcast made on an unsuspecting audience and its legacy. It looked at the myths and anecdotes generated since the original broadcast.

On October 29, 2013, the PBS documentary series American Experience examined The War of the Worlds broadcast on the eve of its 75th anniversary.[31][32]


On January 27, 2003, the Mercury Theatre broadcast of The War of the Worlds was made part of the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.[33]

Re-airings and adaptations[edit]

Since the original Mercury Theatre broadcast, there have been many re-airings, remakes, reenactments and new dramatizations of the original. Many American radio stations, particularly those that regularly air old time radio programs, re-air the original program as a Halloween tradition.


Monument in Van Nest Park, Grover's Mill, New Jersey, memorializing the fictional Martian landing site (October 1988)

It is sometimes said the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was received with skepticism by the American public, as a consequence of the radio performance.[48] In the 1943 film Air Force, when the attack is reported on the radio a character asks if they have Orson Welles tuned in.[49]

The plot of the 1994 TV movie Without Warning centers around Earth being hit by three meteor fragments. The filmmakers acknowledged their debt to The War of the Worlds, and the film was first broadcast on CBS TV on the 56th anniversary of the radio broadcast. It was broadcast with a disclaimer identifying it as fictional, as the 1983 TV movie Special Bulletin had been. NBC placed disclaimers in an October 1999 TV movie dramatizing possible effects of the Y2K bug though it was unlikely to be confused with reality.

In 2005, Danish radio station P2 announced a plan to broadcast a remake of The War of the Worlds on September 3 of that year. As the broadcast was about to start, an announcer interrupted the show to report a fake story about a biological terrorist attack on Copenhagen.[citation needed]

References in fiction[edit]

Current ownership[edit]

The estate of scriptwriter Howard Koch owns the rights to the radio broadcast.[53][54]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pooley, Jefferson; Socolow, Michael (October 28, 2013). "The Myth of the War of the Worlds Panic". Slate. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Brinkley, Alan (2010). "Chapter 23 - The Great Depression". The Unfinished Nation. p. 615. ISBN 978-0-07-338552-5. 
  3. ^ Fielding, Raymond, The March of Time, 1935–1951. New York: Oxford University Press 1978 hardcover ISBN 0-19-502212-2 page 13
  4. ^ Welles, Orson, and Peter Bogdanovich, edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum, This is Orson Welles. New York: HarperCollins Publishers 1992 ISBN 0-06-016616-9 hardcover, pages 74, 333
  5. ^ a b Bartholomew, Robert; Radford, Benjamin (2012). The Martians Have Landed!: A History of Media-driven Panics and Hoaxes. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. pp. 20–21. ISBN 9780786464982. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ Museum of Hoaxes: The BBC Radio Panic, 1926
  7. ^ Invasion Panic This Week; Martians Coming Next, Radio Recall, April 2013.
  8. ^ In the intro, Welles says, "In the thirty-ninth year of the twentieth century came the great disillusionment."
  9. ^ Howard Koch, The Panic Broadcast, 1970.
  10. ^ "Radio Listeners in Panic, Taking War Drama as Fact" (reprint). New York Times. 1938-10-31. "In Newark, in a single block at Heddon Terrace and Hawthorne Avenue, more than twenty families rushed out of their houses with wet handkerchiefs and towels over their faces to flee from what they believed was to be a gas raid. Some began moving household furniture. Throughout New York families left their homes, some to flee to near-by parks. Thousands of persons called the police, newspapers and radio stations here and in other cities of the United States and Canada seeking advice on protective measures against the raids." 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Campbell, W. Joseph. (2010). Getting it wrong : ten of the greatest misreported stories in American Journalism. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 26–44. ISBN 978-0-520-26209-6. 
  12. ^ Bloomfield, Gary (2004). Duty, Honor, Applause: America's Entertainers in World War II, Part 810. Globe Pequot. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-59228-550-1. 
  13. ^ KIRO listeners responsible for most famous War of the Worlds panic Accessed 10-31-11.
  14. ^ "War of the Worlds Gallery". The Mercury Theatre Radio Programs, Digital Deli. Retrieved 2014-01-12.  Representative news headlines from October 31, 1938.
  15. ^ a b Hand, Richard J. (2006). Terror on the Air!: Horror Radio in America, 1931–1952. Jefferson, North Carolina: Macfarland & Company. p. 7. ISBN 0-7864-2367-6. 
  16. ^ Brady, Frank, Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1989 ISBN 0-385-26759-2 pp. 164–165
  17. ^ Bartholomew, Robert E. (November–December 1998). "The Martian Panic Sixty Years Later: What Have We Learned?". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Mass Hysteria in U.S.A. Radio Broadcast Panic". The Age (Melbourne: 1854 - ) (Vic.: Fairfax). 2 November 1938. p. 8. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future, by Stanley J. Baran, Dennis K. Davis
  20. ^ a b Levine, Justin; "A History and Analysis of the Federal Communication Commission's Response to Radio Broadcast Hoaxes"; 52 Fed Comm L J 2, 273–320, 278n28; March 1, 2000; retrieved November 5, 2013.
  21. ^ a b Bartholomew, Robert E. (2001). Little Green Men, Meowing Nuns and Head-Hunting Panics: A Study of Mass Psychogenic Illness and Social Delusion. Jefferson, North Carolina: Macfarland & Company. pp. 217ff. ISBN 0-7864-0997-5. 
  22. ^ a b c Potter, Lee Ann (Fall 2003). ""Jitterbugs" and "Crack-pots": Letters to the FCC about the "War of the Worlds" Broadcast". Prologue 35 (3). Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  23. ^ Schroeder, Andreas (2005). Scams!. True stories from the Edge (2nd ed.). Annick Press. p. 43. ISBN 1-55037-852-X. 
  24. ^ Reif, Rita, "Auctions"; The New York Times, October 21, 1988
  25. ^ Reif, Rita, "Antiques: Books Tell Tales of Art and Money"; The New York Times, July 2, 1989
  26. ^ Armstrong, Kiley, "War of the Worlds Script Fetches $143,000"; Associated Press, December 15, 1988
  27. ^ Sale 7565 / Lot 149, Orson Welles. Typescript radioplay The War of the Worlds. Christie's, June 2, 1994
  28. ^ Millar, John, "Cruising for a Summer Hit; The Aliens Have Landed"; Sunday Mail (Scotland) (Scotland), June 26, 2005
  29. ^ "Orson Welles War of the Worlds script inspired Steven Spielberg's movie"; Wellesnet, The Orson Welles Web Resource, November 4, 2006
  30. ^ War of the Worlds – News Stories, Township of West Windsor, Mercer County, New Jersey; Delany, Don, "West Windsor Celebrates 'The War of the Worlds'" (PDF), Mercer Business, October 1988, pp. 14–17
  31. ^ "PBS fall season offers an array of new series, specials and returning favorites". PBS press release, May 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  32. ^ "War of the Worlds". American Experience, WGBH PBS. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  33. ^ The National Recording Registry 2002, National Recording Preservation Board (Library of Congress); retrieved June 17, 2012
  34. ^ "War of the Worlds". Radio Lab. Season 4. Episode 3. March 7, 2008. "In 1949, when Radio Quito decided to translate the Orson Welles stunt for an Ecuadorian audience, no one knew that the result would be a riot that would burn down the radio station and kill at least 7 people."
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]