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 ''War of the Worlds'' Broadcast 66 Years Ago Today!

The NewsANNOUNCER "...I'm speaking from the roof of Broadcasting Building, New York City. The bells you hear are ringing to warn the people to evacuate the city as the Martians approach. Estimated in last two hours three million people have moved out along the roads to the north..."

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"Hutchison River Parkway still kept open for motor traffic. Avoid bridges to Long Island... hopelessly jammed. All communication with Jersey shore closed ten minutes ago. No more defenses. Our army is... wiped out... artillery, air force, everything wiped out. This may be the last broadcast. We'll stay here to the end... (VOICES SINGING HYMN)

ANNOUNCER: People are holding service here below us... in the cathedral. (SOUND OF BOAT WHISTLES)

ANNOUNCER: Now I look down the harbor. All manner of boats, overloaded with fleeing population, pulling out from docks. Streets are all jammed. Noise in crowds like New Year's Eve in city. Wait a minute... The... the enemy is now in sight above the Palisades. Five — five great machines. First one is crossing the river. I can see it from here, wading... wading the Hudson like a man wading through a brook... A bulletin is handed me...

Martian cylinders are falling all over the country. One outside of Buffalo, one in Chicago... St. Louis... seem to be timed and spaced... Now the first machine reaches the shore. He stands watching, looking over the city. His steel, cowlish head is even with the skyscrapers. He waits for the others. They rise like a line of new towers on the city's west side...

Now they're lifting their metal hands. This is the end now. Smoke comes out... black smoke, drifting over the city. People in the streets see it now. They're running towards the East River... thousands of them, dropping in like rats. Now the smoke's spreading faster. It's reached Times Square. People are trying to run away from it, but it's no use. They're falling like flies. Now the smoke's crossing Sixth Avenue... Fifth Avenue... a... a hundred yards away... it's fifty feet..."

In 1938, on October 30th, sixty-six years ago today, the "The War of the Worlds" by H. G. Wells was performed by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on The Air. The performance was broadcast by the Columbia Broadcasting System on that Sunday night before Halloween from 8 to 9 p.m. Chaos ensued when listeners did not realize it was a theatre production.

It is speculated that the fear and panic caused when “War of The Worlds” was broadcast, resulted in our government’s refusal to be honest with the populace about the presence of aliens in the universe and their contacts with Earth. Fears of another mass panic, breakdowns in traditional, cultural, and religious beliefs, among other things has led to this denial of alien existence.

To read the newspaper articles of the time or to read the entire transcript of the theatre production go to http://members.aol.com/jeff1070/wotw.html

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