Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mischief Night, October 30th

Mischief Night

Mischief Night sounds like an innocent enough holiday, because, at least to me, the word mischief conjures up child-like revels... like sneaking cookies out of the cookie jar. But, despite it's innocent sounding name, Mischief Night is is a holiday that easily can get out of hand.

For example, on October 30, 1938, Orson Welles aired his infamous radio play "War of the Worlds" which caused quite a bit of mischief. Many people listening to the program panicked, believing that the broadcast was a news report rather than a radio drama. If you want to read a script of the broadcast you can read it here. If you want to listen to the original broadcast go here. I remember listening to the full broadcast in junior high. I should probably go listen again for an adult perspective.

For an example from my own life-time, in 1991, in Camden, New Jersey over 130 fires were set by roaming teenagers which resulted in a teenager curfew in 1992 during which only 30 fires were set. ("The Mischievous History of Devil's Night" Washingtonpost.com) Personally, I think 30 teenager-set arsons in one night are still too many.

So remember, whatever you do tonight, whatever mischief you might be up to, remember that someone out there might be up to a little bit more.

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