October 30, 1938 – Radio drama terrifies listeners

On Oct 30, 1938 Orson Welles directed and narrated a radio drama adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. The radio drama was planned as a Halloween episode and was presented as a series of news bulletins that suggested an alien invasion was occurring. Most of the radio listeners tuned into the radio program 12 minutes after it started and by then the alien invasion reporting was well underway. Panic broke out across the US. Welles had to go on the air as himself and remind listeners that it was just fiction. The FCC investigated the program but found no law was broken.