“New Jersey is being invaded by Martians!” exclaimed actor Orson Welles.
He was reading the script of a 1938 radio drama based on the novel “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells, who died Aug. 13, 1946.
Herbert George Wells was from an impoverished lower middle class family. He failed as a draper and chemist assistant before going into literature. H.G. Wells wrote many best-selling science fiction novels:
- “The Time Machine,” 1895
- “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” 1896
- “The Invisible Man,” 1897
- “The War of the Worlds,” 1898
- “The First Men in the Moon,” 1901, which inspired a boy named Robert Goddard to become the father of modern rocketry
President Ronald Reagan referred to H.G. Wells in an address at the National Space Club, March 29, 1985: “Dr. Goddard once wrote a letter to H.G. Wells. … ‘There can be no thoughts of finishing, for aiming at the stars … is a problem to occupy generations. … There is always the thrill of just beginning.'”
Reagan added: “Personally, I like space. The higher you go, the smaller the federal government looks.”
In “Outlines of History,” (NY: MacMillian Co., 1920), H.G. Wells commented of the U.S. Constitution: “Its spirit is indubitably Christian.”
H.G. Wells wrote in “The Pocket History of the World” (August, 1941): “Ideas of human solidarity, thanks to Christianity, were far more widely diffused in the newer European world, political power was not so concentrated, and the man of energy anxious to get rich turned his mind, therefore, very willingly from the ideas of the slave and of gang labour to the idea of mechanical power and the machine.”
Though admittedly not a follower of traditional religion, H.G. Wells wrote regarding education: “Education is the preparation of the individual for the community, and his religious training is the core of that preparation.”
H.G. Wells wrote in “Outlines of History” (NY: MacMillian Co., 1920, Vol. 2, p. 13): “Because Mohammed too founded a great religion, there are those who write of this evidently lustful and rather shifty leader as though he were a man to put beside Jesus of Nazareth or Gautama or Mani. But it is surely manifest that he was a being of commoner clay; he was vain, egotistical, tyrannous, and a self-deceiver; and it would throw all our history out of proportion if, out of an insincere deference to the possible Moslem reader, we were to present him in any other light.”
Though initially against a Jewish homeland, after the Nazi holocaust atrocities H.G. Wells changed to supporting the Jews, even initiating correspondence with chemist Chaim Weizmann, the future first president of the state of Israel. (David Lodge, “The Man of Parts,” Harvill Secker, 2011, p. 403): “My own … tactlessness, aroused the resentment of Jews who are essentially at one with me in their desire for a sane equalitarian world order. For centuries the Jewish community, whatever its Old Testament tradition, has been the least aggressive of all nationally conscious communities. Mea Culpa.”
In “The Secret Places of the Heart,” 1922, H.G. Wells reflected: “Sir Richmond and Miss Grammont went out into the moonlit gloaming … crossed the bridge … and followed the road beside the river towards the old Abbey Church, that Lantern of the West. … Said Sir Richmond …’It’s only through love that God can reach over from one human being to another. All real love is a divine thing.”
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