Many Americans could not fathom that some people heard War of the Worlds and actually believed that Martians had landed in New Jersey. Over 12,000 articles were published about War of the Worlds in the two weeks following the broadcast. Time and again, editorial pages blamed the listener. To journalist Dorothy Thompson, who applauded Welles in her widely-read column, the episode cleverly proved the power of propaganda. Watch this video to hear what she wrote in her column.
"War of the Worlds" premieres October 29 at 9pm ET on PBS.
Roman Catholic priest Father Charles Coughlin used the power of radio to rail against the nation's economic system in the Depression.
The story of the polio crusade pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.
This funny, probing program re-examines assumptions about American culture in the 1950s.
The unbounded optimism of the Jazz Age and the shocking consequences when reality finally hit on October 29th, 1929.
The story behind the development of the oral contraceptive that put women in control of birth control.
Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.
Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America.