70th anniversary of fictional space invaders who panicked America
NEW YORK (AFP) – Seventy years ago this week, thousands of Americans settled in at home for what they expected would be a relaxing evening of radio theater -- a favorite family entertainment in the pre-television age.
By the time the broadcast ended an hour later panic erupted.
Americans by the thousands fled what they feared was an imminent invasion by space aliens; while others armed themselves in defense against the marauding extraterrestials.
Radio listeners, many of whom flooded police emergency phone lines, apparently had missed a disclaimer at the start of the broadcast making it clear that events unfolding over the airwaves were fictional.
A headline emblazoned across the top of the New York Times the next day told the story: "Radio listeners in panic, taking war drama as fact."
This year marks seven decades since the historic "" broadcast unleashed a furore across the country, as Americans by the tens of thousands allowed themselves to be fooled by the 's realistic-sounding news bulletins and sound effects.
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