CKWW to Air 'War of the Worlds' tonight - Page 3
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Thread: CKWW to Air 'War of the Worlds' tonight

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    But they invaded Austria in March, 1938, 6 months prior to the War of the Worlds broadcast. Tensions were running high because of the German occupation, by international accord, of Sudetenland, the German speaking area of Czechoslovakia... and event that occurred just a month prior to the broadcast.
    Technically, the Germans did not "invade" Czechoslovakia. The Czech leader, Edward Benes, "abdicated" under pressure from Hitler and ceded the Sudetenland to Germany. Germany occupied the Sudetenland immediately but only later the entire country.

    Anschluss (union) with Germany occurred March 12, 1938 but, again, it was a non-violent (militarily) occupation of Austria. Like the situation with Czechoslovakia there was considerable support for Austria to join the more powerful Germany since the end of WWI.

    I can understand the general feeling of anxiety concerning the world's political situation but question how it would relate to believing in an attack by Martians.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post
    Pay attention there will be quiz: Germany invaded the Sudetenland, October 1st, 1938. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler in Munich to try to make a peace deal. The US networks gave the Czech crisis extensive coverage and CBS launched the "World News Round-up." The Sino-Japanese War and the Spanish Civil War were well underway. People were very afraid of another war.
    Germany did not "invade" the Sudetenland. It was ceded to Germany by the Czech government (rightly or wrongly). Note that, as a bastion of ethnic Germans, the Sudetenland was considered "German" by a majority of its residents. This was one of the unfortunate fallouts of redrawing country boundaries following WWI.

    Chamberlain did make a speech (commonly known as the "Peace In Our Time" announcement) following the Sudetenland grab. Hitler supposedly stated it would be his last territorial demand. Obviously that was not true for a year later he invaded Poland and set off WWII in Europe.

    There were distinct groups that either supported or opposed American involvement in "another" European war. Lindburgh's "America Firsters" didn't want involvement (at least officially). The German-American Bund supported Germany and had a large following in the upper Midwest. Other groups supported the U.K. while the Irish largely did not. But all of this is Earth-based and is not directly connected to an alien invasion.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by landtuna View Post
    Germany did not "invade" the Sudetenland. It was ceded to Germany by the Czech government (rightly or wrongly). Note that, as a bastion of ethnic Germans, the Sudetenland was considered "German" by a majority of its residents. This was one of the unfortunate fallouts of redrawing country boundaries following WWI.

    Chamberlain did make a speech (commonly known as the "Peace In Our Time" announcement) following the Sudetenland grab. Hitler supposedly stated it would be his last territorial demand. Obviously that was not true for a year later he invaded Poland and set off WWII in Europe.

    There were distinct groups that either supported or opposed American involvement in "another" European war. Lindburgh's "America Firsters" didn't want involvement (at least officially). The German-American Bund supported Germany and had a large following in the upper Midwest. Other groups supported the U.K. while the Irish largely did not. But all of this is Earth-based and is not directly connected to an alien invasion.
    Nice try. The Germans took the Sudetenland under threat of invasion. It was a tense time and people were worried and even frightened. As already mentioned the people who panicked were not sure what was supposedly happening. They just lived in a scary time.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post
    Nice try. The Germans took the Sudetenland under threat of invasion. It was a tense time and people were worried and even frightened. As already mentioned the people who panicked were not sure what was supposedly happening. They just lived in a scary time.
    The "threat of invasion" was actually the failure of the Western Powers (Britain and France primarily) to back the Czech government. In fact, both countries actually backed Hitler and his demands leaving Czechoslovakia without allies. Without Western help the Czechs could not stop a German army BUT the Germans never actually invaded. Rather, the Czechs saw the writing on the wall and capitulated.

    But the vast majority of your "frightened people" lived in Europe and could not have heard Welles' broadcast therefore there was no tie-in between potential war in Europe and the "War Of The Worlds" broadcast and the American hysteria that ensued.

    And.....I will submit that we today are living in "scary times" what with two idiots vying for the top office in the land, a lunatic despot in North Korea who has some sort of nuclear weapons, a huge economic and political threat by China and a very unfriendly Russia. The threats and their repercussions are far more dangerous today than in 1938.
    Last edited by landtuna; 11-01-2016 at 07:22 PM.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by landtuna View Post
    The "threat of invasion" was actually the failure of the Western Powers (Britain and France primarily) to back the Czech government. In fact, both countries actually backed Hitler and his demands leaving Czechoslovakia without allies. Without Western help the Czechs could not stop a German army BUT the Germans never actually invaded. Rather, the Czechs saw the writing on the wall and capitulated.

    But the vast majority of your "frightened people" lived in Europe and could not have heard Welles' broadcast therefore there was no tie-in between potential war in Europe and the "War Of The Worlds" broadcast and the American hysteria that ensued.

    And.....I will submit that we today are living in "scary times" what with two idiots vying for the top office in the land, a lunatic despot in North Korea who has some sort of nuclear weapons, a huge economic and political threat by China and a very unfriendly Russia. The threats and their repercussions are far more dangerous today than in 1938.

    Sorry LT: You apparently have memorized names and dates but you haven't bothered to look into the emotional state of people living at the time - without benefit of hindsight. People did not turn to radio for "breaking news" then (let alone cable news channels). And radio had not done much to provide that kind of coverage. Speeches, Fireside Chats, Conventions, Election Returns - yes. Planned Events. Plus commentary - more like what we get now from talk show hosts than from news anchors except those commentators only had 15 minutes. But the people running the radio networks did understand the emotional state of their audiences and they saw that there was a need for breaking news coverage to address public anxiety. The first "wall to wall coverage" (or anything approximating it) came with Munich and the Sudetenland, followed by regularly scheduling newscasts focused on breaking news (not commentary, not headlines from the newspapers) of which the World News Roundup is the best known. WNR wasn't first; National News Headlines on the Trans-Canada Network (now Radio One) of the CBC was several months ahead (the regular news presenter was Pa Cartwright/Commander Adama). But there was anxiety and an appetite to know what was going on. The rumors fed by Orson Welles played into that.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post
    Sorry LT: You apparently have memorized names and dates but you haven't bothered to look into the emotional state of people living at the time - without benefit of hindsight. People did not turn to radio for "breaking news" then (let alone cable news channels). And radio had not done much to provide that kind of coverage. Speeches, Fireside Chats, Conventions, Election Returns - yes. Planned Events. Plus commentary - more like what we get now from talk show hosts than from news anchors except those commentators only had 15 minutes. But the people running the radio networks did understand the emotional state of their audiences and they saw that there was a need for breaking news coverage to address public anxiety. The first "wall to wall coverage" (or anything approximating it) came with Munich and the Sudetenland, followed by regularly scheduling newscasts focused on breaking news (not commentary, not headlines from the newspapers) of which the World News Roundup is the best known. WNR wasn't first; National News Headlines on the Trans-Canada Network (now Radio One) of the CBC was several months ahead (the regular news presenter was Pa Cartwright/Commander Adama). But there was anxiety and an appetite to know what was going on. The rumors fed by Orson Welles played into that.
    Unless one lived through that time I doubt they would be able to accurately describe the general emotions of the population. To those of us who value historical data one could say that the general feeling in the USA by 1938 was one of conservative optimism. The worst part of the Great Depression was almost over, jobs were once again available and the various government policies had addressed, with some success, the worst of the economic problems. FDR began his fireside chats in 1933 and they continued almost until his death giving much positive spin to the nations issues. While there was much anxiety over the "international" situation there was also a national opinion that the USA was relatively safe behind its two oceans and a president whose public policy was to "keep the boys out of another European conflict". The years from 1938-1940 would prove that optimism was unwarranted but in 1938 the terrible war ahead was not anticipated by many.

    And, I still ask, how the Earth-bound situation was a significant factor in the panic following the WotW broadcast? There is virtually nothing I have found in my history searches to indicate that the general population of the United States was overly concerned with Martians or any other space aliens. There were, of course, comic books and radio shows that touched on space travel and other celestial events but it doesn't appear to me that these were significant enough to instill fear or even concern in the average adult of the day. And as popular as radio was in 1938 I am absolutely sure that most adults along the East Coast realized that the source of the hysterics were coming from the well known Mercury Theater of the Air and not a verifiable news outlet.

    This topic seems to have run its course so I will conclude in agreement with my initial statement - that people who believed an obvious radio entertainment program were either susceptible to flights of fancy or terribly uninformed, possibly both. And given the current climate of our country I am relatively sure it could easily happen again.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by landtuna View Post
    Unless one lived through that time I doubt they would be able to accurately describe the general emotions of the population. To those of us who value historical data one could say that the general feeling in the USA by 1938 was one of conservative optimism. The worst part of the Great Depression was almost over, jobs were once again available and the various government policies had addressed, with some success, the worst of the economic problems. FDR began his fireside chats in 1933 and they continued almost until his death giving much positive spin to the nations issues. While there was much anxiety over the "international" situation there was also a national opinion that the USA was relatively safe behind its two oceans and a president whose public policy was to "keep the boys out of another European conflict". The years from 1938-1940 would prove that optimism was unwarranted but in 1938 the terrible war ahead was not anticipated by many.

    And, I still ask, how the Earth-bound situation was a significant factor in the panic following the WotW broadcast? There is virtually nothing I have found in my history searches to indicate that the general population of the United States was overly concerned with Martians or any other space aliens. There were, of course, comic books and radio shows that touched on space travel and other celestial events but it doesn't appear to me that these were significant enough to instill fear or even concern in the average adult of the day. And as popular as radio was in 1938 I am absolutely sure that most adults along the East Coast realized that the source of the hysterics were coming from the well known Mercury Theater of the Air and not a verifiable news outlet.

    This topic seems to have run its course so I will conclude in agreement with my initial statement - that people who believed an obvious radio entertainment program were either susceptible to flights of fancy or terribly uninformed, possibly both. And given the current climate of our country I am relatively sure it could easily happen again.
    The people who studied the situation were there. The people they interviewed were there. And you keep refusing to deal with main point: The people who panicked did not know this was a radio show about an alien invasion. I repeat: THEY DID NOT KNOW THIS WAS A RADIO SHOW ABOUT AN ALIEN INVASION. They weren't listening to the show. They just heard something from somebody who heard something from somebody..... Something was happening and they weren't sure what. But if you want to think your grandparents and great grandparents were "idiots" (your term), be my guest.

  8. #28
    Some basic lead in, describing the broadcast and the impact it had.

    The movie 'The Night That Panicked America' starring Vic Morrow used to regularly air around Halloween. Haven't seen it in years. I think it captured the backstory of the broadcast better than anything else I've read or seen.

  9. #29
    If anybody cares to get the real story, not self-promoting media spin, see: Cantril, Hadley. "The Invasion from Mars, a Study in the Psychology of Panic" 1940
    https://www.amazon.com/Invasion-Mars.../dp/1412804701

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post
    If anybody cares to get the real story, not self-promoting media spin, see: Cantril, Hadley. "The Invasion from Mars, a Study in the Psychology of Panic" 1940
    https://www.amazon.com/Invasion-Mars.../dp/1412804701
    That still does not explain the fact that many people were scared by the actual broadcast and, by telling others, spread the panic.

    Even greater reactions occurred after the Quito and San Juan broadcasts of the show, where the explanation in great part takes into account that the stations involved were both the audience leaders in their markets.
    www.americanradiohistory.com
    Broadcasting Magazine and Yearbooks, RCA Broadcast News, Television Magazine, Radio Annual, Radio News, Sponsor, Television/Radio Age, R&R, Duncan's American Radio, M Street Directory, Broadcast Engineering, db, and more.

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