Recreating the broadcast that panicked a nation

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Updated: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 09:59:11 CST

It was on October 30, 75 years ago when a broadcast went over the airwaves and sent the country into a panic.

"The latest bulletin from the intercontinental radio news. Trenton, New Jersey. It is reported that at 8:50 PM a huge flaming object," read the original CBS broadcast. 

"Believed to be a meteorite fell on a farm in the neighborhood of Grovers Mill, New Jersey," continued Jack Sheard, a cast member for the War of the Worlds recreation. 

"There's a lot of people that before the show didn't hear the disclaimer," said John Lincoln, producer of The Grand Theatre performance. 

"The eyes are black and glean like a serpent. The mouth is v-shaped with saliva dripping from its frivolous lips," read one cast member.

So America's listeners sat unaware it was all radio drama-- thinking the country was being invaded by aliens.

"Now we're not more than 50 feet away. Can you hear it now?" 

Radio was just in its infancy.  So now, 75 years later could America be duped again?

"If there's one thing that tells you how different 75 years can be is that this is what they were listening to and there's nothing else that they could-- they couldn't go to the internet, they couldn't turn on the TV, they couldn't find anything else to find out why no one else was covering this," said Sheard. 

"The end of the thing is beginning to flip up. The top is beginning to rotate like a screw."

And while The Grand Radio Players' anniversary performance at The Grand Theatre was a tribute to CBS radio's original broadcast-- it was also for a good cause.

"We just do this as a fun way to raise money for a beautiful historic theatre that we have right here in Grand Island," added Lincoln. 

100% of the ticket sales for the 75th Anniversary of the War of the Worlds will go towards The Grand Theatre. 

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