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The War of the Worlds Mass Hysteria

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Deep Patel

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of The War of the Worlds Mass Hysteria

War of the Worlds
Mass Hysteria Deep Patel What is Mass Hysteria? Definition: "Spontaneous development of identical physical or emotional symptoms among a group of individuals, as in a classroom of schoolchildren." Basically a whole group of people who suddenly develop mental or physical symptoms What was the War of the Worlds? The War of the Worlds was actually another episode of a regular radio program. The Mercury Theater Group produced a program, called First Person Singular, which would broadcast each week featuring dramatic renactments of popular literature. Orson Welles,
leader of
The Mercury Theater Group What Happened The group was to present a adaptation of Herbert George Wells' novel "The War of the Worlds", on October 30, 1938. That book told a story of a Martian attack on England. The group decided to set the story in modern times instead of the 19th century. They had also decided to perform the story as fake news bulletins. They would play some music, and then "interrupt" the music to bring the public news of a alien attack on New Jersey. Welles had also planned to make four announcements during the broadcast saying the program was fake. The Broadcast The group first interrupted to tell the listeners about a disturbance on Mars.
Then they announced that aliens had been spotted, and were making their way to New York City. Halfway through their broadcast, the group was surprised to learn that they had caused a panic around New Jersey and New York. Result of the Broadcast More than a million people where frightened into Mass Hysteria, causing them to panic.
Communication and road were jammed, and many hid in their basements with loaded guns.
Some Princeton geologist even rushed out into the fields where the meteor was supposed to have landed. Results Continued The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) called the program "regrettable", and H.G. Wells threatened to sue.
The Mercury Theater Group also claimed that they had not done this on purpose, merely a Halloween special gone wrong.
The broadcast ended up catapulting Welles into fame, and is his most famous work. H.G. Well's "War of the Worlds" Which is a very well-known science fiction book. Why Did We Believe? Radio back then was a very reliable form of communication. It was often used by officials (and still is today) to communicate important information. They had no reason to believe they were listening to a fake broadcast.
The Broadcast was also very convincing because they changed names of locations in the book to real locations in England. They also used reporters, and government officials that made the broadcast sound very convincing. Why did we believe? Another reason why be believed the Broadcast was because the broadcast had aired right after the Munich Crisis, and all the Americans were still tense.
Many believe that the listeners were easily deceived because of the general stress Americans felt during the depression and beginnings of WWII. Works Cited Wilson, Allie. The War of the Worlds Broadcast. N.p. N.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Spring05/Wilson/index.html>

"mass hysteria." The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. 15 Oct. 2012. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mass hysteria>.


"War of the Worlds, Orson Welles, And the Invasion from Mars" Transperencynow. Ken Sanes. n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.transparencynow.com/welles.htm>

Bartholomew, Robert E.. "The Martian Panic Sixty Years Later: What Have We Learned?" The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Nov./Dec. 1998. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.csicop.org/si/show/the_martian_panic_sixty_years_later_what_have_we_learned/>

Bartholomew, Robert E. and Goode, Erich. "Mass Delusions and Hysterias: Highlights from the Past Millennium" The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. May/June 2000. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.csicop.org/si/show/mass_delusions_and_hysterias_highlights_from_the_past_millennium/>

Burton, Neel. "Mass Hysteria in America" Psychology Today. 28 May 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012 <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/mass-hysteria-in-america> Works Cited 2 Naremore, James. "The Man who Caused the Mars Panic" Humanities. July/Aug. 2003. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=e4260c74-b2ec-41ae-b7b1-929181fc354b%40sessionmgr114&vid=1&hid=102&bdata=JmF1dGh0eXBlPWdlbyZnZW9jdXN0aWQ9Z2FsaWxlbyZzaXRlPWVob3N0LWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=fth&AN=10393044>

Orson Welles. n.d. photograph. Google. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://images.google.com/imgres?q=Orson+Welles+open+culture&num=10&hl=en&biw=1024&bih=681&tbm=isch&tbnid=0KJL8MhQXKYOpM:&imgrefurl=http://www.openculture.com/2007/07/the_war_of_the_worlds_on_podcast_how_hg_wells_and_orson_welles_riveted_a_nation.html&docid=dMWT-pEb1mChRM&imgurl=http://www.openculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/welleswar.jpg&w=379&h=480&ei=frmCUNvqD4_o8QSY1ICoDw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=489&vpy=315&dur=188&hovh=253&hovw=199&tx=94&ty=116&sig=110026528835855326693&page=1&tbnh=148&tbnw=122&start=0&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:8,s:0,i:98>

H.G Well's War of the Worlds. n.d. photograph. Winnsboro. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. <http://business.winnsboro.com/events/details/h-g-wells-war-of-the-worlds-1305>

Headline in the "New York Times". n.d. photograph. HistoryToday. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/martians-invade-new-jersey> Works Cited 3 Bowen, Gordon L. "Foundations of US Policies: The Munich Crisis of 1938" Mary Baldwin College. n.p. n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.mbc.edu/faculty/gbowen/munich.htm>

"Interview with Orson Welles re: War of the Worlds Broadcast" 1 June 2010. Youtube.com. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqLXjF4Eeuc>

Potter, Lee Ann. Letters to FCC about "War of the Worlds" Broadcast. n.d. photograph. Prologue. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2003/fall/war-of-worlds.html>

"The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells. n.d. photograph. Wilsonville Public Library. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. <http://wvlibrary.wordpress.com/2011/07/page/2/>

The Number of people tuning into the radio has reached an "all time high" n.d. photograph. The Telegraph. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/5289761/More-people-listening-to-radio-than-ever-before-Rajar-figures-show.html>

Dekema, Edward. Reporting from the front lines... 15 Feb. 2011. photograph. Mobile Dog < Mobile Masters. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://stage.mobilemasterscommunity.com/category/blog/mobile-dog/>

Humor - Work & Stress. n.d. photograph. Wolfescape. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.wolfescape.com/Humour/WorkStress.htm> The End Link to Word Document with Bibliography properly formatted. (Prezi will not allow italics)
http://sdrv.ms/WEkQoC
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