The geographical infamy associated with the Mercury Theatre‘s 1938 radio broadcast “The War of the Worlds” was a happy accident. Per an article this week by Joyce J. Persico in the Times of Trenton, radio play writer Howard Koch closed his eyes and randomly pointed a pencil at a map of New Jersey. Today, Grover’s Mill is often referred to by the larger designation of West Windsor Township.
The broadcast fooled listeners on October 30, but the 75th anniversary celebrations start this weekend with various activities in Grover’s Mill. Among them, this Saturday-Sunday event at a location owned by former councilman Franc Gambatese and his wife, whose business is dedicated basically to the memory of that historic program:
On October 26 and 27 at 8 p.m., the Grover’s Mill Coffee House & Roastery will host a live recreation of the 1938 Welles radio program hosted by Michael Jarmus. On October 30 at 8 p.m., there will be a discussion of “War of the Worlds” by a panel of historians. All events are free, people in costume are welcome, but seating is limited.
The tagline of this coffee house, located in the McCaffrey’s Shopping Center, is somewhat hilariously: “Grover’s Mill Coffee… It’s Out of This World!”
[Pictured commemorative T-shirt retails at the coffee house for $25.00]