Daily Bread for 10.30.22: 1938’s War of the Worlds Radio Play

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 63. Sunrise is 7:27 AM and sunset 5:49 PM for 10h 21m 36s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 30.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1938, Orson Welles broadcasts a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds:

H. G. Wells and Orson Welles met for the first and only time in late October 1940, shortly before the second anniversary of the Mercury Theatre broadcast, when they were both lecturing in San Antonio, Texas. On October 28, 1940, the two men visited the KTSA studio for an interview by Charles C. Shaw, who introduced them by characterizing the panic generated by “The War of the Worlds”.

Wells was skeptic about the actual extent of the panic caused by “this sensational Halloween spree”, saying: “Are you sure there was such a panic in America or wasn’t it your Halloween fun?” Welles replied that “[i]t’s supposed to show the corrupt condition and decadent state of affairs in democracy, that ‘The War of the Worlds’ went over as well as it did.”

When Shaw mentioned that there was “some excitement” that he did not wish to belittle, Welles replied, “What kind of excitement? Mr. H. G. Wells wants to know if the excitement wasn’t the same kind of excitement that we extract from a practical joke in which somebody puts a sheet over his head and says ‘Boo!’ I don’t think anybody believes that that individual is a ghost, but we do scream and yell and rush down the hall. And that’s just about what happened.”

(Citations omitted.) 

America may not have been terribly panicked, but she was suitably entertained: 

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