A look behind Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” broadcast

LA SALLE - The LaSalle Public Library will virtually host lecturer, Laura Keyes on Oct. 27 when she presents, “A Look Behind Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ Broadcast.”

On the Eve of Halloween 1938, a young actor/director broadcast a radio drama based on a 40-year-old novel, “The War of the Worlds.” While the original broadcast had a relatively low audience, the impact it had, and continues to have, on American Culture is staggering. But how much of that impact was reality, and how much has been exaggerated over the years? Were there riots in the streets from panicked listeners, or did most of the audience simply enjoy a well-done piece of theatre? Did Orson Welles know he would frighten listeners, or was this an unintended accident? 

This informative and entertaining lecture will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. - a perfect prelude to Halloween. The program is free and open to the public. 

Keyes, who is currently director of the Dunlap Public Library District in Dunlap, graduated from UW-Madison with a Master’s degree in Library Studies. She has been giving presentations on historic topics for over 10 years and she enjoys researching literary symbolism and is contracted to write a book on that subject.

To gain access to the program, interested individuals are asked to register by going to https://bit.ly/2GFLk8R. If individuals prefer to connect to this program using an iPad or smartphone, need more information or have questions, please contact Rachael Blomquist, Digital Content Librarian, at [email protected] or call the Library at (815) 223-2341.


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