On our recent trip to New Jersey Suzi and I had to make a trip to Princeton. When I got to Princeton I realized that I was within 5 miles of the most sacred spot in Jersey.
The thing I really like about the “Martian Landing Site” monument in Grover’s Mill NJ, erected on the 50th anniversary of the Orson Wells “World of the Worlds” broadcast on CBS’ Mercury Theater of the Air, is that there are no signs directing you to it. The park where the monument and several interpretive sign boards erected for an Eagle Scout project talking about the Orson Wells 1938 broadcast is not labeled. You have to know where it is. Some of the local businesses take advantage of the broadcast, like the local coffee roaster, but the monument is in a little park on the mill pond with a playground and some picnic tables. If you want to visit, the map above marks the spot.
The Grover’s Mill Coffee Company that sells “Cosmic Cravings,” “Martian Mocha” and “Rocket Fuel Roast” as well as a 75th anniversary roast. It was good coffee.
A year ago, on the 75 anniversary of the broadcast, I made 11 posts on Facebook. They were in this order.
- Astronomers report volcanic eruptions on the surface of Mars,
- The observatory at Princeton University reports a giant meteor has landed in the vicinity of Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.
- Professor Pierson of the observatory at Princeton University tells CBS Radio that this is not a meteor that fell on Grover’s Mill, New Jersey but a cylinder with a diameter of 30 yards.
- CBS Radio reports that the cylinder has opened and a creature is crawling out of the cylinder.
- CBS Radio reports woods and barns near Grover Mill, New Jersey on fire. Car fuel tanks are exploding.
- CBS Radio reports: All contact with Grover’s Mill, New Jersey has been lost.
- CBS Radio reports: All communication with Jersey shore closed ten minutes ago.
- CBS Radio reports: ”Martian cylinders are falling all over the country. One outside Buffalo, one in Chicago, St. Louis . . . seem to be timed and spaced . . .”
- CBS Radio says: “This may be the last broadcast. We’ll stay here to the end . . .”
- 2X2L calling CQ, 2X2L calling CQ, 2X2L calling CQ New York. Isn’t there anyone on the air? Isn’t there anyone the air? Isn’t there… anyone…. 2X2L…
- This is the 75th anniversary of the day Radio came of age. Orson Well’s “War of the Worlds” broadcast on CBS Radio 75 years ago this night. People started taking radio seriously.
Today is the 76th anniversary.