Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bill Herz, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Bill Herz, the last surviving crew member of Orson Welles’s mock “War of the Worlds” newscast, which terrified American radio listeners in 1938 with vivid bulletins warning Newark residents to evacuate as invading Martians incinerated central New Jersey, died on May 10 in Manhattan. He was 99.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...


The "panic" is a myth that just will not die.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-15470903

I guess it's just too fun feeling superior to those hicks from yesteryear who were such simpletons that they couldn't tell a radio play from reality.

Bill Crider said...

I've read a number of times recently that the "panic" was no panic at all, but I heard about it as fact for many years when I was growing up.

Deb said...

By the time I first heard the "panic" story (in Speech class in 1970), it included the mass exodus of several New Jersey cities and the attempted suicide of a distraught listener. It was years before I discovered that the whole story was pretty much a discounted urban legend.

Gary R. said...

The most recent book I've read on the subject concluded that the extent of the "panic" was highly exaggerated by newspapers of the day.

Bill Crider said...

Made a good story.