A Blast From The Past

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International  |  Oct. 30, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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Today is Oct. 30.

This is the anniversary of the 1938 radio broadcast that triggered a near panic. As part of a series of radio dramas based on famous novels, Orson Welles and the Mercury Players produced H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds." However, many listeners believed the simulated news bulletins, describing a Martian invasion of New Jersey, to be real.

The Columbian Exposition closed in Chicago on this date in 1893. An elaborate ceremony had been planned. However, two days earlier, Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison had been shot to death by a disgruntled job-seeker. Instead, a single speech was delivered and flags lowered to half-staff.

It was on this date in 1941, more than a month before the United States entered World War II, that an American destroyer, the Reuben James, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine.

Simon Bolivar established the independent government of Venezuela on this date in 1817.

And it was on this date in 1983 that the Rev. Jesse Jackson announced plans to become the first black to mount a full-scale campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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