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'War of the Worlds' 75 years ago tonight...

Orson Welles in an undated photo.

Orson Welles in an undated photo. (Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

"War of the Worlds" entered American life and culture seventy-five years ago -  at 8 p.m. - as one of those events that seemed to  expose, or anticipate, the fault lines of human affairs. The most terrible war in human history was to begin within a year, and Americans seemed to sense this, almost as if "sensing" premonitions of a  terrible earthquake.

Then along comes this frivolous radio drama that now - three quarters of a century later - seems to have anticipated something terrible as well. (Which is what great artists like Orson Welles are supposed to do...Anticipate.)

 What the heck was all the fuss about? Were "millions" really scared? All just a lot of hype? (Aren't you just a little curious to find out?) Here's the original broadcast. It's interesting, but as as you listen, put yourself in the minds of people who were wondering what the world was coming to all those years ago. That makes this a little more intriguing, and perhaps it also makes those who were frightened a little more sympathetic... 

Tags: War of the Worlds , Orson Welles , CBS

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