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U.S. Invaded!

Oct. 30 2008, Published 1:25 p.m. ET

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It was 70 years ago today that the United States of America was invaded—by Martians!

October 30, 1938, was the day that a 23-year-old Orson Welles and his team of Mercury Theatre players did a live CBS radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.

The pre-Halloween gag got out-of-hand when many among the 6 million listeners thought the accounts of the alien landings in Grover's Mill, New Jersey, were real. There were countless calls to local police stations, and many went so far as to leave their homes for safe havens.

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When informed of the broadcast, the 72 year-old H.G. Wells thought it was pretty amusing.


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