In 1897 H.G. Wells wrote the original War of the Worlds. In 1938 Howard Kotch adapted this story as a radio play. This radio drama was presented by Orson Welles in the guise of news broadcasts so realistic that many people believed that the Earth was under attack from Mars.
About half of the 55 minute play was a contemporary retelling of the events of the novel, presented as a series of news bulletins in documentary style.
The program, broadcast from the 20th floor at 485 Madison Avenue in New York City, started with an introduction to the intentions of the aliens and noted that the adaptation was set in 1938. The program continued as an apparently ordinary music show, only occasionally interrupted by news flashes.