SUNDAY, October 28, 2018 at 2:00 pm


Mercury Theater Playhouse

originally aired October 30, 1938

It began in 1898 in London and took 40 years to reach the states. In fact, a little town in New Jersey, to be exact. At that point, in less than 51 minutes, the entire country of the United States was under attack... from Martians from outer space.
Perhaps you've seen the movie versions, perhaps you've read the book, but no translation of this exciting and provocative story has created such an impact as the 1938 radio adaptation created and performed by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the Air.
As you'll soon hear, the first two thirds of this story were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins. Many listeners who tuned in and missed the beginning, mistook the broadcast as announcements of an actual alien invasion.
Remember, this was before we had the internet, before we had a way to list programs and check channels. It was also a tense time politically, with trouble brewing in Europe that would eventually become World War II. And to add to the confusion, the Mercury Theater didn't take any commercial breaks, thus adding to the realism..
Well, just for a moment, imagine if you turned on the television today, or your computer, and you suddenly saw news footage of people being attacked by aliens, panic in the streets, unstoppable destruction. I'm guessing you'd do what many people then did.
You'd panic.
And that's just what many people did back then. Across the entire nation, there was widespread outrage and panic by certain listeners, who had believed the events described in the program were real. And when the emergency subsided, the country shifted from frightened to angry, forcing Welles to make a national apology several times.
In fact during some of those apologies Welles himself recounts tales of how people sought shelter and safety in the mountains of the Black Hills of South Dakota and had to be persuaded go back home because the Martians hadn't really come.
People's vacations were instantly cancelled (even Honeymoons)
Even Notable actor John Barrymore immediately rushed out into his backyard where he kept ten Great Danes in the kennels, and released the dogs, giving them their freedom. Crying to them as they ran in all directions of the compass, "The world is fallen! Fend for yourselves!"
Was it an accident? Was it intentional? We may never know the real truth.
Perhaps you can decide for yourself after today's how as we now recreate that historical broadcast for you, exactly as it aired, word for word, with sound effects, music, as evil aliens come from another planet to invade and take over Oak Park.
It all happens Sunday, October 28 at 2:00 at the Oak Park Arms.

Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear Presents…

Cavalcade of America: Great Women around the world

All performances at:

The Oak Park Arms
408 South Oak Park Avenue
Oak Park, IL

Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is a radio troupe comprised of professional actors and voice-over artists and has been providing top-notch entertainment to Oak Park Arms residents and the near by community for 14 years.


  • Dec 23 - TBD "Plastic Tips, Metal Tips" - Jack Benny goes Christmas shopping
  • Our 2019 dates are in the planning and will be announced soon.
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