1898 – Herbert George Wells, author of such works as “The Time Machine”, “The Island of Dr. Moreau” and
“The Invisible Man”, writes what is arguably the most important novel in the history of science fiction: THE WAR
OF THE WORLDS. The book tells the horrific tale of the invasion of earth by alien beings from Mars, and establishes a benchmark for a whole subset of the sci-fi genre.
October 30 1938 – Orson Welles directs and stars in the most notorious radio broadcast in history. Thousands tune into CBS's Mercury Theatre for a radio version of the book, only to
hear that Martians have landed in New England and are initiating an assault on
Earth! Panic ensued, but
when the smoke finally cleared there were lawsuits against
Welles and CBS totaling millions.
1953 – The first feature length film of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS hits film screens. This George Pal version relocates the story to cold war America and has the US Army
throwing all its might against the Martian invaders. Considered by many to be the greatest science fiction movie
ever made, George Pal’s film is a certifiable classic.
1975 – "The Night That Panicked America" airs, a dramatization of the 1938 Orson Welles radio
broadcast made for TV. Written by a young Nicholas Meyer (who later helms several Star Trek movies), a new generation is turned on to THE WAR OF THE WORLDS.
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