We Are Broadcasters
National Association of Broadcasters
Moment 100: 'War of the Worlds' Broadcast
October 30, 1938

War of the Worlds Broadcast Grips the Nation

On the night of October 10, 1938, actor Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre on the Air performed a radio adaption of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds, turning the novel into a fake news bulletin describing a Martian invasion of New Jersey. It was broadcast live as a Halloween episode at 8 p.m. over the CBS radio network. Some listeners thought the bulletins were real and made calls to police, newspapers and radio stations, leading journalists to believe there was mass panic.

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November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast. To celebrate this special anniversary, we’re shining a spotlight on 100 key moments in radio's history.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating your favorite radio memories throughout 2020. Use the hashtag #Radio100 across social media to share these moments with the world. Here’s to 100 wonderful years of radio, and to at least 100 more!

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