On October 30th we celebrate the anniversary of a night that panicked America, do you know what I mean?
The anniversary of a famous broadcast by Orson Welles and his colleages of the Mercury Theatre on the Air.
Listen to the whole broadcast here ( thanks to Awesome stories)
They performed a lively and shocking broadcast of the novel "The War of the Worlds" by H G Wells, where Martians were invading the Earth and destroying everything they saw.
It was supposed to be a six-day broadcast but people who didn't listen to the beginning of the show because they tuned in late, considered it a piece of the news broadcast, thought it was real and panicked. Some tried to flee from the city, other hid in their basements and began collecting all the food and water they could.
People were easily influenced at that time because of the rising of dictators such as Hitler and the big depression they were suffering after the 1929 crisis.
Orson Welles wanted to show how mass audiences could be manipulated in times of political crisis, as they could believe everything they listened to.
Welles had to hold a press conference the next day to explain everything.
H G Wells (1866 -1946). This English novelist, teacher, historian, journalist was one of the first writers of science fiction, he wrote many novels such as "The Invisible Man", "The Time Machine" where he showed new scientific discoveies and inventions. In the next link you can listen to him on the radio H G Well's speeches on radio
The Novel " The War of the Worlds" 1895-97 was published as a series and was set between London and Surrey. The Earth is invaded by cylinder-shaped Martian machines with destroying rays. Humans make an efford to fight them.
In the novel we can see some scientific advances such as the rocket and others and some believe this criticises the British imperialism and the Victorian prejudices, fears and supertitions of that time.
There are lots of series and films either about the novel or Welles' dramatization.
The World of the Worlds Trailer of the film 2005