Library offering virtual inside look at ‘The War of the Worlds’


Laura F. Keyes will lead a Facebook Live presentation at 5 p.m. Oct. 5 online at

This program is sponsored by Friends of the Jackson County Public Library.

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 theater? Did Orson Welles know he would frighten listeners or was this an unintended accident?

Attend this illustrated lecture, and learn the real story.

Keyes graduated from UW-Madison with a master’s degree in library studies and has been presenting on historic topics for more than 10 years. She enjoys researching literary symbolism and is contracted to write a book on that subject.

Keyes currently is director of the Dunlap Public Library District in Dunlap, Illinois. She has presented past programs for the Jackson County Public Library on the history of the Hershey Chocolate Co. and Laura’s Christmas Memories about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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