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How 'War Of The Worlds' Caused Double The Panic For One Small Washington Town

Credit Gabriel Spitzer
Valerie Stafford at the Concrete Theater

This story originally aired on November 4, 2017.

The population of Concrete, Washington in 1938 was about 1,000 people. But one October evening that year, while a famous radio broadcast was frightening a good portion of the population across the country, things in Concrete got even stranger.

When Orson Wells broadcast his famous War of the Worlds broadcast on October 30, 1938, if you didn’t tune in at the very beginning, you might not have realized it was a radio play, not actual terrifying news of Martians invading earth. But in Concrete, a chance explosion at the town power supply during the broadcast knocked out electricity across the town, and convinced many that the Martians had come to the neighborhood.

Valerie Stafford hosts a ghost walk in Concrete every Saturday in October, and talked to Gabriel Spitzer about how the town responded to this case of terrible timing.

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin currently produces 88.5's weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.
Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.

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