Aliens Are Coming!
The True Account of the 1938 War of the Worlds Radio BroadcastBook - 2006
This book tells the true story of the Halloween radio prank that duped much of the country into believing that Martians had invaded.
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It's the 1930s! Good old 1930s. Open the book and here's a cheery announcer telling kids that back in the thirties the primary source of entertainment and information was the radio. It then explains that some people "were easily fooled by a radio play that sounded like an actual news bulletin". Turn the page, and everything is black and white. We're looking at a typical American street scene. "It was October, 30, 1938, the day before Halloween". We next see a nice black and white scene of a family gathered in their living room. The noise coming out of the radio forms into colorful dancing sequences. Suddenly an announcer comes on and starts talking about a flaming meteorite that has fallen in New Jersey. As the listeners grow worried, the scene shifts to a field where a group of people stand around as a flying saucer slowly begins to open up. It's aliens! And they've come to conquer us all! They ransack the farmlands. They invade the cities. They land all over the country. "Was this the end of the world?" Certainly a lot of people listening thought so. The pictures are back to black and white and we're seeing clogged highways and jammed phone lines, and police investigating perfectly calm fields in the country. It wasn't the end of the world. It was Orson Welles and his troupe of actors at the Mercury Theatre performing a realistic version of "War of the Worlds". Interesting factual information rounds off the book with the true story and fun info about subsequent readings of the story (with similar results).
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