Oct. 30, 1938 became “the night that panicked America,” when Welles’ Mercury Theatre on the Air over CBS Radio presented an adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. This radio version included dramatized news bulletins and the realism of the program led many listeners to think that Earth was actually being invaded by Martians.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the broadcast, WRST-FM will offer two special programs. At 5 p.m., the station will air its regular science newsmagazine Big Picture Science. The special episode is the program’s monthly “Skeptic Check” offering, which regularly works to debunk the claims of pseudoscience. This edition will take a critical look at some of the legends surrounding the 1938 broadcast.
At 7 p.m., WRST will present the original War of the Worlds broadcast, at the exact time it originally aired over CBS. The special broadcast is introduced by actor George Takei, best known as Sulu from the original Star Trek series. This special was produced by Southern California Public Radio.
Both programs are available to WRST through its membership in the Public Radio Exchange, a national radio program sharing service.
Listeners can hear both programs over WRST at 90.3 on the FM dial in the Oshkosh area and elsewhere online at www.wrst.org.