SAT Subject US History Practice Question 142: Answer and Explanation
33. The 1938 panic in which people thought that the earth was being attacked by hostile aliens from Mars was caused by a
A. radio broadcast of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater
B. series of swaths cut into mysterious symbolic shapes in Midwestern cornfields
C. power blackout that darkened the Northeast from Boston to Washington, D.C.
D. series of tornadoes in the Southeast in which many people disappeared
E. mysterious cloud formation hovering over the face of the moon
Correct Answer: A
The play script included a written "we interrupt this broadcast" section that fooled many people who had not tuned in to the start of the show into thinking it was a real, spontaneous interruption of the broadcast to announce an invasion.