I Will Terrorize No Country Before Its Time

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On this day in 1938: The broadcast of Orson Welles’ radio drama, “War of the Worlds,” caused a national panic.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]

8 thoughts on “I Will Terrorize No Country Before Its Time

  1. Many NPR stations are rebroadcasting the original program, others will have a reinactment.

  2. There was no panic. The whole story was a beatup by the newspapers. A handful of elderly people were mildy confused. There were no mass evacuations, shelter-digging or other hyped behaviour. The true story has been explained many times. It’s an urban legend.

  3. Yes and no about the panic. There was real panic, not just among the elderly but also among the general public. However, it wasn’t as widespread as purported by later commentators.

    Howard Koch wrote the script for that episode. In 1970, he published an Avon paperback titled THE PANIC BROADCAST which included an I-was-there account of the broadcast and the aftermath.

    If anyone wants to stream the show, Calgary radio station CHQR 770 AM has a nightly old-time radio show that will be playing the full episode tonight starting at 23h35 Mountain Time.

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