ROBERT KRULWICH: The original H.G.
On Oct. 31, 1938, newspapers published headlines regarding the dramatization and the responses from the public.
Let’s actually go back to 1938 and see if we can figure out how these sounds landed on people’s ears and what information they had in their heads and I need your help with this.
ROBERT KRULWICH: They get lost, they bump into the witch and then they die or they think they die, at least you never see them again.
There was a problem. We’re not making this movie to kind of scare people.
the aliens may be able to inflict memory loss on human beings. On October 30th, 1938, the United States experienced mass hysteria--most ROBERT KRULWICH: So, here are two ways to think about the “War of the Worlds.” One: it was a smashing entertainment using every trick they could think of, including inventing some new ones to scare you silly. TONY FIELDS: They insert local place names, you know, so instead of the Martians landing in New Jersey, they would land in Cotocollao, which is on the outskirts of Quito, they write in parts for government officials, the Minister of the Interior, the mayor of Quito.
JAD ABUMRAD: So, he landed at the feet of an angry mob.
JAD ABUMRAD: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, why would you not want people to go camping?
The War of the World tells the story of a Martian invasion of Britain, but Welles decided to change that to just outside of New York, in a small town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. of defense mechanism, along with the very interesting possibility that
JAD ABUMRAD: So, after weeks and weeks of hearing these constant interruptions, it’s easy to understand why this play-, ARCHIVE, Mercury Theater: Ladies and Gentlemen, following on the news given in our bulletin a moment ago-. And if you believe, as he does, that the 1938 panic was-well, didn’t happen or wasn’t as bad as it sounds that actually makes what we talked about next in our live broadcast even more puzzling.
TONY FIELDS: That’s right, that’s right.
TONY FIElDS: Uh, huge crowds were in the streets. JAD ABUMRAD: This is Edward R. Murrow reporting from London-same time period-just to give you a sense of how scary it was to be alive at this moment in time.
JAD ABUMRAD: Because by then a strange meteor had landed. JASON LOVIGLIO: But his mastery of information, his mastery of his own voice, his bravery on the scene. MARIA BELTRAN TESTAGROSSA (sp? ARCHIVE, newscast: We interview this program of music by Harry James and his orchestra to bring you a bulletin just received in the WOR newsroom. And it really seems to say something very powerful and strong about how immersed we can become in the narrative world. Marge, you know a Raymond Rocello? At some point this boxer shows up.
MARIA BELTRAN TESTAGROSSA (sp?
Were we really so unsophisticated in 1938?
Quito is in the middle of the mountains, in the Andes mountains. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors?
On the roof?
JAD ABUMRAD: Well, cause at that very same moment the majority of people listening were tuned into this.
ARCHIVE, WKBW broadcast: Halloween night. Or most people do? Or (OVERLAP) how much of this did you know? It’s as tall as a tree and it is marching (sound effect) through the countryside, stomping everything in its path and then we are taken to field reports, live battle scenes between militia and pods but before we do, let me play one more clip.
And we should say that your dad stayed behind to try and help other people to get out of the building.
ARCHIVE, Phillips: Those creatures-know what that means-anything (sound) wait a minute, something’s happening.
JAD ABUMRAD: Well, they stormed the radio station. ARCHIVE, radio newscast: September 22, 1940. So he set out to screw with people, basically, I mean, he was planting paranoia. (sound of explosion), JAD ABUMRAD: Here the New Jersey militia fire on a fleet of Martian pods.
TONY FIELDS: Everything that happened next happened extremely quickly. JAD ABUMRAD: Where they landed on the Mercury Theater on the Air, already in progress, where they stayed put.
Most escaped. ROBERT KRULWICH: (laughter) There’s a disco version. Go-ah.
ARCHIVE, Murrow: I’m standing on a rooftop. The spaceship was supposedly in the north of the city but this black cloud of gas was in the south and a lot of them actually did what any good Catholic would do.
JAD ABUMRAD: This is tape of the Hindenburg crash, still fresh in people’s minds, it happened one year before the broadcast. MICHAEL SOCOLOW: Exactly. I thought it was all baloney until I heard that government official guy or the Princeton professor and this script is chock-full of believable experts. ROBERT KRULWICH: No, no, you never go, you know, cover the governor and say, first I’m going to scare them and then I’m going to assuage them, no one would do that.
I’m Robert Krulwich is my name and with all due respect, I mean, if we had any number of things we could’ve done in the hour.
ROBERT KRULWICH: The Ecuadorian guy, Leonardo-what’s his-. JAD ABUMRAD: You file things for the news. JAD ABUMRAD: It’s like that silence is terrifying. ARCHIVE, Phillips: And yet, how do you account for these gas eruptions occurring on the surface of the planet at regular intervals? It seems we may have gotten a few things wrong when we, uh, performed that show many years ago.
JAD ABUMRAD: Yeah. While thousands of radio listeners were surprised, or even frightened, by the "War of the Worlds" broadcast, others were angry. of the California Astronomical Society, General Montgomery Smith, Captain Lansing of the Single (sp?)
ARCHIVE, Murrow: You may be able to hear the sounds of guns off in the distance, very very faintly, like someone kicking a tub. What is this music by the way? ROBERT KRULWICH: So let me-let me just say at the outset, I’m just a tiny bit puzzled, why? is, there actually was an alien invasion in Grover's Mill. He’s a radio historian at the University of Maryland. (INAUDIBLE) of the Earth’s atmosphere usually tears holes in a meteorite, this thing is smooth and-you can see it’s-, ARCHIVE, Phillips: Something’s happening.
They answered, we know as much as you do.
): Yes, I’m here. JAD ABUMRAD: Would he tell you the whole story? And so they were waiting for a way to really to prove to advertisers and to federal regulators, you know, they had the first amendment, they understood responsibility-these are the newspaper managers. ARCHIVE, Kay: Buffalo police and telephone company reported to WKBW that they received more than 4,000 phone calls. They send Paez to report from the scene. No one really remembered what happened; all they remembered JAD ABUMRAD: We’re in St. Paul, Minnesota in the Fitzgerald Theater.
ROBERT KRULWICH: The mayor didn’t call the general before-. Anniversary of Orson Welles' broadcast of "War of the Worlds", it TONY FIELDS: Quito is the capital of Ecuador. JAD ABUMRAD: Right, so in honor of the microbes, in honor of “War of the Worlds,” which broadcast 80 years ago today-tonight, here is our take on “War of the Worlds.”.
Just a bystander.
ROBERT KRULWICH: Some people told Dan Myrick that after watching those three campers go into the woods, they themselves would never go camping again.
Meteors on-meteors on Mars, Marge. ARCHIVE, Murrow: Looking out over London. ARCHIVE, Quito newscast: (heat wave sounds), ARCHIVE, Quito newscast: (screaming sounds). JAD ABUMRAD: All of which would have made the following dramatized battle scenes. But then. (laughing) So, if you had any doubt at this point, once you saw those military vans, you were like, oh, bleep, I’ve got to get the hell out. DANIEL MYRICK: I mean, that’s why you’re doing it. The New York Times switchboard received 875 calls alone from people wanting to know where they’d be safer.
JAD ABUMRAD: Okay, wait, wait, wait, do we have-forget reenactments-do we have a copy of the real broadcast from that night? warfare against enemy troops and civilian populace, and used as the most JAD ABUMRAD: So, at this point you think-. JAD ABUMRAD: Before you do, can you just tell everyone who you are?
The "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast was part of Welles' "Mercury Theater on the Air" program on CBS, which broadcast from Radio City in New York. © was the damn radio show.". Tell me when it gets to 8:05. TONY FIELDS: It really seems like he wanted people to believe what they were hearing that night. It’s really a trauma and it’s-it’s the kind of that hysteria and panic we’re talking about.
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