The famous radio dramatization of The War of Worlds in October 1938 supposedly set off panic and hysteria across the United States. Tens of thousands of panic-stricken Americans were said to have taken to the streets or headed for the hills during the radio show, which was a clever adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel about an invasion by Martians wielding deadly heat rays.
The supposed panic that night in 1938 is a delicious story, one almost too good to be false.
But it is. There is scant evidence to believe that The War of Worlds dramatization had such an effect.
Getting It Wrong describes how newspapers of the time got it badly wrong.
Listen to the broadcast here.