CBS radio on Halloween on Oct. 30, l938: "2X2L calling CQ, NewYork...Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone?"
By Dick Meister
“2X2L calling CQ … 2X2L calling CQ, New York …. Isn’t there anyone on the air? Isn’t there anyone on the air? Isn’t there anyone?
Millions of Americans – panic-stricken, many of them – waited anxiously for a response to the message, delivered over the CBS radio network in slow flat, mournful tones on a crisp Halloween eve. It was Oct. 30, 1938.
“Isn’t … there … anyone?”
There wasn’t. Listeners heard only the slapping sounds of the Hudson River.
Many of New York’s residents were dead. The others had fled in panic from “five great machines,” as tall as the tallest of the city’s skyscrapers, that the radio announcer had described in the last words he would ever utter. The metallic monsters had crossed the Hudson “like a man wading a brook,” destroying all who stood in their way.