War of the Worlds: When Martians 'invaded' New Jersey!

ByMichelle Charlesworth and Eyewitness News Vault Archivists WABC logo
Monday, October 30, 2023
War of the Worlds: When Martians 'Invaded' NJ!
When Martians "Invaded" New Jersey!

GROVERS MILL, NJ (WABC) -- On Oct. 30, 1938, Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre broadcast the infamous "War of the Worlds" on the CBS radio network, reporting that aliens had invaded Grovers Mill, New Jersey. The next day, headlines told of mass hysteria across the nation after listeners mistook the radio drama for breaking-news coverage of a Martian attack.

The broadcast sounded all too real, with live music interrupted by news flashes that culminated in a horrifying event at Grovers Mill, New Jersey.

But in recent years, some scholars have concluded that reports of mass hysteria were greatly exaggerated.

Back in 1998, on the 60th anniversary of the broadcast, Eyewitness News' Michelle Charlesworth visited Grovers Mills, a community that has embraced the legendary story with pride, even erecting a monument to the broadcast in a park.