75 years later: 'War of the Worlds' broadcast remembered

By Kelly McCarthy

October 31, 2013 Updated Oct 31, 2013 at 6:50 AM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A radio broadcast sent Americans into a panic 75 years ago. On October 30, 1938 "War of the Worlds" aired on CBS radio.

The broadcast starring Orson Welles first aired on October 30, 1938. It gave a rendition of H.G. Well's science fiction novel, "The War of the Worlds." Welles gave warning at the beginning of the broadcast but many Americans still panicked, thinking there was a real alien invasion.

Binghamton University's dedication to the broadcast started off with a panel discussion on campus.

Panelists from universities across the state gave insight on some of the lessons we can take away from the broadcast.

"Listeners were given all of these cues that this was a fake broadcast," said Associate Professor at SUNY Buffalo Damien Keane, "But they chose to disbelieve those precisely in order to believe that this was real and that mars was invading the earth."

But the organizers also wants to work on restoring some humor to "The War of the Worlds."

"It has this serious legacy, and certainly there are some important lessons to be learned," said Co-Organizer Jennifer Stoever-Ackerman, "But this was actually done in jest as a Halloween joke."

Keane said some of the issues people are dealing with today, like the WikiLeaks and NSA leaks, can be related to what was going on in the 1940's.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.