War of the World turns 75
10-30-2013, 01:14 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-30-2013, 01:18 PM by Tusk.)
#1
War of the World turns 75
75 Years ago, an estimated one million of 6 million listening to Orson Welles' Broadcast of HG Wells' "War of the Worlds" believed that the Earth was being invaded by aliens, causing Mass panic

Ironic that, back then, because of primitive communications ability this kind of hysteria might occur (the radio was the primary entertainment in most homes), That now, with the pervasive nature of 21st century communications, cell/smart phones, computers internet etc, and the need to be first with news by most of our major news outlets... that mass Misinformation can still occur as incorrect info can travel as fast and in an instant as factual information

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10-31-2013, 12:18 AM, (This post was last modified: 10-31-2013, 12:20 AM by Miguel.)
#2
RE: War of the World turns 75
I watched an American Experience program about this tonight.

They pointed out many contributing factors.

- After the script was completed, less than 72 hours before the broadcast, they ran though it for the first time and felt it was too dull. Orson Wells had recently heard another broadcast, "Air Raid," that depicted a fictional event as it was happening. That served as the inspiration for the revamped War of the Worlds script.

- Suffering through the Great Depression, many were used to bad news and afraid of what the future might bring. They were also fearful of the Nazi threat abroad.

- Many people could not afford their house or car payment but they were still buying radios because it was a source of entertainment. They had become accustomed to breaking news interrupting broadcasts for first-person accounts of calamities occurring elsewhere.

- A foreign astronomer had recently described the surface of Mars. A word he used was translated as "canals." That brought to mind the Panama Canal and people assumed that must mean the "canals" on Mars were constructed by an intelligent being of some sort.

- Most people were listening to a Charlie Mccarthy broadcast on another radio station at the start of the hour. When that act was completed and a musical number began, many people began "dial turning" and stumbled on the War of the Worlds broadcast.

- Hearing of an attack by an alien invading army, many people assumed it was Germany.

- As the panic began to spread, a CBS executive ordered they interrupt the broadcast to issue a network ID and let people know they were listening to a play. Orson Wells continued the broadcast for 10 more minutes before doing so. By that time, many people were away from the radio because they were fleeing or preparing for the worst.
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