I have always been more interested in experiment, than in accomplishment. - Orson Welles

On the 30th of October, 1938 CBS Radio in America hosted The Mercury Theatre in the Air for a 60 minute show which would be based on H.G Wells novel War of the Worlds. It was directed by Orson Welles, who would go on to be one of the greatest film directors American cinema had seen.

A majority of the show was presented in the style of news bulletins about an explosion on Mars and then an object falling from the sky onto a farm in New Jersey. Then reports came about Martians coming out of the object and destroying everything in their way with laser rays all across the United States.

For radio listeners who were keeping up with the broadcast, it was real. People ran out of their homes, went into hiding thinking they were under attack.

The intent of the broadcast was to seem close to reality, but it was only a drama re-enacted using actors. However, people did not receive it that way. It was also done with only one break in between, at 30 minutes, instead of frequent breaks, hence it seemed more real.

Following the chaos, it was criticised by a number of people but continues to be a popular radio broadcast to this day.