The Day the Americans Didn’t Arrive in Normandy (Slate)




Seventy years ago this week, an inexperienced typist in the Associated Press’s London office pressed the wrong button, sending out a false broadcast report that the Americans’ D-Day invasion in France had begun. The news spread like wildfire, despite its unconfirmed status and a hasty retraction; far more Americans were exposed to this false broadcast than to Orson Welle’s “War of the Worlds” broadcast. However, the mistake was largely forgotten after true reports of the Americans’ landing in France arrived. With the 70th anniversary of D-Day approaching, Slate describes how the rules of the radio broadcast era contributed to the erroneous report of a significant event in world history.

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