Orson Welles is an icon to boomers from many classic movies of our time, such as "Citizen Kane", which has been hailed as one of the best movies ever made.
On October 30, 1938, Welles, the host and creator of a drama based radio program called, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, broadcast a live dramatic adaptation of the H.G. Wells' novel, "The War of the Worlds", about the invasion of planet Earth by creatures from Mars. The event was taken seriously by thousands of people all over the country and caused a great deal of panic. Of course much of the panic was over-hyped, but as many may have not heard the introductions of the show, they thought it was real. The program did not have commercial interruptions, making it seem even more realistic.
The next day, the New York Times article explained the radio broadcast as a hoax and it made Orson Welles famous.
You can listen to the actual radio broadcast via my fellow Associate Content writer friend, Michael Segers' article,
(Photo from The New York Times Source: microfilm archives of the New York Times © Wikimedia Commons)
Michael's article has some great information about archives of historic radio programs, so please read all of the article, but you can click here for the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. (You can even right click on the program link to save the mp3 to your computer)