The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

October 26, 2013

'War of the Worlds' caused little local concern

If there was ever a big boost in the career of actor, director, writer and producer Orson Welles, it came 75 years ago this coming week when radio was a media giant. It was Sunday night, Oct. 30, 1938, when Oneontans and those across the nation tuned in — many of them after the program’s introduction — to the Mercury Theatre play, “The War of the Worlds.”

By missing the play’s introduction, a listener would have missed the fact that he was listening to a fictitious news broadcast describing men from Mars invading northern New Jersey. This mock newscast sent residents from the New York-New Jersey area either scrambling in a frenzy to escape, or to pick up their guns and go fight the outer space enemies.

Radio listeners around Oneonta must have either heard the play’s introduction, or they were listening to the popular and competing Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy show, as a look at The Oneonta Star over the next couple of days showed absolutely no reports of any such panic.

The Oneonta Herald of Nov. 3, 1938, reported, “Relatives of an Oneonta family were among the many New Jersey residents who were startled into leaving their towns on Sunday night … and being led to believe that a major catastrophe had struck the New Jersey area.”

“George S. Andrus of 32 West street received a phone call about 8:30 Sunday from his son, Emmon Andrus, of Campgaw, near Paterson, N.J., saying that he, his wife and their daughter … were leaving at once for Oneonta and asking his father to stay up for them. At 10:15 Mr. Andrus had another call from his son, then in Kingston, who explained that the radio announcement had been the cause for their hasty departure, but that on reaching Kingston they had learned the true nature of the broadcast.”

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio

Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column
Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Are your taxes going to be done on time?

Yes, they're all finished
I should make it in under the wire
No, I'm late
No, I'm filing an extension
I'm not filing a tax return
     View Results