The War of the Worlds Broadcast

The Martians are Coming

The War of the Worlds broadcast aired at 8 p.m. on Halloween eve 1938. Welles announced his disclaimer that the program was bogus and began the broadcast with a fictitious musical “performance” by an imaginary orchestra. (2)

The announcer, played by Bernard Herrmann, first interrupted the music to tell the audience about a disturbance on the planet Mars. As the play unfolded, the announcer took over the musical program to describe the events of a Martian invasion.

The aliens landed in Grover's Mill New Jersey and were making their way to New York City , creating a path of poisonous gas and destruction.

About half an hour into the broadcast, the performers were surprised to learn that some of the listeners believed the news bulletins. The program had created a widespread panic (2)

Learn about the origins of the broadcast
Learn how the performers updated the War of the Worlds novel
Martian attack
Learn about the War of the Worlds panic
Learn about the aftermath of the broadcast