War of the Worlds Broadcast Bash with the West Windsor Arts Council and the Historical Society on October 29th

October 23, 2023

Pictured Above: Author A. Brad Schwartz during his previous talk on The War of the Worlds. Photo Credit: Contributed. 

On Oct. 29th, 2 - 5pm, Author of “Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News,” A. Brad Schwartz will tell the story of the original broadcast . His presentation promises to be informative, interactive and engaging.



West Windsor, NJ – On Sunday, October 29th from 2 – 5 pmWest Windsor Arts, in partnership with the Historical Society of West Windsor, is presenting its annual celebration of the anniversary of the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. This year’s event will be held at the historic Schenck Farmstead, just down the road from the site of the 1938 fictitious alien landing.

Pictured Above: The Effects Team for War of the Worlds in 1938 in the CBS studio. Photo Credit: Sourced from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

It was 85 years ago on Mischief Night that a young director, Orson Welles, captured the attention of the nation through his dramatic radio broadcast of a play based on the novel by H.G. Wells. Panic ensued when news spread that aliens from Mars had descended upon Grovers Mill.

“The broadcast is such a unique part of our history in West Windsor, and makes the perfect backdrop to any Halloween happening,” says Executive Director Aylin Green. “Even after so many years, we are still captivated by the story of how a work of theater in the form of a ‘fake’ broadcast became a local phenomenon and a national media event. 

Pictured Above: Author A. Brad Schwartz. Photo Credit: Contributed. 

“Why did some radio listeners not recognize that they were listening to a dramatic reading of a play, and was there really mass hysteria? It’s fun to celebrate this famous event (that never happened) about aliens landing in West Windsor, but it also makes you think about the importance of media literacy, a topic that resonates today.”

Author A. Brad Schwartz, who wrote “Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News,” will once again be on hand to tell the story of the original broadcast and how it relates to the pervasiveness of “fake news” today. His presentation promises to be informative, interactive and engaging. “We are really excited to welcome back our local expert, Brad Schwartz, who is full of fascinating facts about a fictitious event!” adds Green.

Pictured Above: The above the fold headline on the Boston Daily Globe, regarding the terror Wells caused. Photo Credit: Sourced. 

“We have plenty planned for big and little kids alike, from Halloween-themed arts and crafts, to candy and prizes for best costumes,” she says. “There will also be tours of this beautiful farmstead. Personally, I am most excited that we will be revealing our new mascot for this annual event, a small martian sculpture, based on Jodi Walker’s winning design from last year’s contest.”

Broadcast Bash will also feature live music from the Ragtime Relics and a live painting demonstration with artist Robert Hummel. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. 


Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for youth, ages 3 to 17. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit westwindsorarts.org/event/broadcast-bash-85th/.

The West Windsor Arts Council (952 Alexander Road, Princeton Junction) offers art and cultural events, workshops, and classes for all ages and in all disciplines at the West Windsor Arts Center and in the community. For more information, call 609-716-1931 or visit westwindsorarts.org.

About the Historical Society of West Windsor

The Historical Society of West Windsor is a 100% unpaid volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates out of the Schenck Farmstead/West Windsor History Museum. They preserve and promote the community’s rich history to educate and inspire current and future generations, and to foster pride and appreciation for West Windsor’s unique heritage. For more information, email westwindsorhistory@gmail.com or visit westwindsorhistory.com

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