70th anniversary of mythic Martian landing in NJ

Thursday marked the 70th anniversary of Orson Welles? famous radio broadcast about a Martian invasion in New Jersey.

Welles read an adaptation of H.G. Wells? novel "The War of the Worlds" aloud on the hour-long Halloween episode of CBS?s "Mercury Theatre on the Air" on Oct. 30, 1938. Most of the 12 million listeners around the United States thought the reading was a special live news broadcast about a Martian invasion in Grover's Mill in Mercer County.

"We were so scared," Veronica Paul, of North Brunswick, says. "We thought, ?Oh my God, what if they come here, what if they take us?? We were really frightened." Paul, who is in her 90s, listened to the broadcast live from her home in Jersey City.

Franc Gambatese, who is a huge fan, is opening a Grover?s Mill coffee house with a "The War of the Worlds" theme just a few miles from Van Nest Park, the site of the mythic Martian landing.

The West Windsor Halloween parade will be held Saturday in honor of the 70th anniversary.

For an interview with the ?War of the Worlds? fan opening a coffee shop in Grover?s Mill, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Channel 612.

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