Local researcher adds to legend of Welles' 'War of the Worlds' broadcast

Oct 28, 2013

Orson Welles directed and starred in the CBS Mercury Theater production of H.G. Wells' 'The War of the Worlds.' The broadcast on October 30, 1938 instilled panic in untold numbers of listeners across the U.S.
Credit Andy Zeigert/flickr

Seventy-five years ago, radios across America crackled to the sound of an ominous revelation.

Actor and director Orson Welles led the nation through a chilling tale of a Martian invasion of Earth.

The radio broadcast was, of course, just a story.  But “The War of the Worlds” on October 30, 1938 set off a wave of panic and became an American cultural touchstone.  Now, there’s a new connection to the old legend.

Brad Schwartz, a graduate of Okemos High School and the University of Michigan, is a credited co-writer in an upcoming documentary on “The War of the Worlds” airing Tuesday, October 29 at 9 p.m. on WKAR-TV.  Schwartz studied hundreds of letters to Orson Welles that conveyed the surge of emotions felt by millions on that memorable night.  Current State’s Kevin Lavery asked Schwartz about his passion for the Golden Age of Radio.