|What makes it historical?
||Aliens have become all too mainstream in our popular culture since the 60s, but in 1938, the idea of an alien invasion was all too new to most folks. So when Orson Welles decided to broadcast a reading of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds live across America at 8:00 PM on October 30th, most listeners had no frame of reference when the “field reporter” described huge walking tripods, death rays, and their slobbering, tentacled, Martian operators!
The one-hour broadcast put the first arrival of the Martians in this very park near Grover’s Mill, and terrified locals even took to shooting up a water tower that they mistook for an actual tripod! Roads clogged with terrified people fleeing from the impending Martian conquest, and police departments received dozens of requests for gas masks to protect against the toxic Martian gases!
The multiple announcements over the course of the broadcast that this was a fictional story didn’t seem to matter, because in context, it was just across the ocean from Hitler’s conquest of Czechoslovakia! Luckily for everyone involved, the Martian invasion never materialized, and the world was left a little safer after this early form of fake news!