Grover's Mill, NJ - June 18, 2014

Northeast of Trenton, New Jersey, is a quiet little community called Grover's Mill. There is not too much that can be said about it.  Except, maybe, that the end of the world "almost" started there. Back in 1938, in celebration of Halloween, Orson Welles broadcast H.G. Wells' classic 1897 novel The War of the Worlds for an American audience.  Welles offered disclaimers that this was only a radio show.  Whether people missed that completely or didn't notice it doesn't really matter.  The show created a frenzy.  People panicked, thinking the attack was real.  It described how space aliens set down in Grover's Mill and started an attack.  Nothing of the sort has ever happened in the United States.

Or has it?  The American Treasure Tour has a token of remembrance for this famous event displayed a little off the beaten path located in the Toy Box. Don't worry, though.  It's not real.  Or is it?

QUESTION:  Orson Welles' program aired opposite another, more popular radio show called the Chase and Sanborn Hour, a variety program.  Which popular ventriloquist was performing as War of the Worlds began?

a)  Mortimer Snerd

b)  Edgar Bergen

c)  Charlie McCarthy

d)  Jeff Dunham

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:  Happy Evacuation Day!  Today in 1778, British forces voluntarily abandoned Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War.  They were on their way back to New York City, to consolidate their troops and prepare for the Summer campaign.  Meanwhile, colonial forces under General George Washington departed from Valley Forge in hot pursuit.  The two armies would meet in Monmouth, New Jersey in ten days' time.

Not only were women in the United States refused the right to vote prior to passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, but it was positively against the law.  The suffragette Susan B. Anthony was arrested after attempting to vote in the November 1872 presidential election and, on this day in 1873, was convicted of the crime in a highly-publicized trial.  She was fined $100 for her action. The authorities did not pursue the case when she refused to pay the fine.  


1913 proved a good year for music.  On this day, Sammy Cahn was born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Not only did he have a love of vaudeville, but he had a natural gift for music.  It was not long before he started writing songs, and he wrote many famous songs during his life, including:  "Three Coins in the Fountain," "High Hopes," "Call Me Irresponsible," and "All the Way" (all Oscar winners), as well as many other classics - including the timeless "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!"!

Although the ATT blog rarely acknowledges the birthdays of non-Americans, we simply have to share a blurb with a very famous musician from England:  Paul McCartney.  Born today in 1942, McCartney is half of the band The Fireman, with Martin Glover.  The band is known for playing experimental electronic music, and has released three albums since 1993.  Oh, and apparently, McCartney was in a band earlier in his musical career, as well.  They were called Wings.

QUOTE:  I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be happy as anybody on earth.  The sense of independence and security is very sweet. - Susan B. Anthony

ANSWER:  b)  Edgar Bergen.  Mortimer Snerd and Charlie McCarthy were his most popular dummies, and Jeff Dunham wouldn't be born until 1962.