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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Forty years on, it is difficult to appreciate just how completely George Romero's taboo-shattering Night of the Living Dead (1968) sucker punched a nation weaned on bloodless Universal monster rallies and the Eastmancolor gloss of Great Britain's Hammer horrors. With only $60,000 in seed money, Romero turned the limitations of his cash-starved production into devastatingly indelible grace notes that would quickly become genre chapter and verse. While cost-saving (and continuity-sparing) black and white cinematography gives the film the queasy urgency of newsreel footage, what puts Night of the Living Dead over the top as a genre milestone is the fearlessness of its nihilistic vision.

Filmgoers expecting cheesy Roger Corman-style shudders or the classy frissons of Rosemary's Baby (1968) were instead force fed a smorgasbord of outrages, not the least of which is an infected child's murder and gory consumption of her bickering parents. Even more novel was the casting of black actor Duane Jones as the film's everyman hero, whose climactic demise at the hands of those who should have saved him is the coup de grace to an expertly modulated descent into the maelstrom, offering audiences neither comfort nor hope.

Producer: Russell Streiner, Karl Hardman
Director: George Romero
Screenplay: John A. Russo (based on a story by George Romero)
Cinematography: George Romero
Editing: George Romero
Production Design: Vincent Survinski
Special Effects: Regis Survinski, Tony Pantanello
Makeup: Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman
Cast: Judith O'Dea (Barbara), Russell Streiner (Johnny), Duane Jones (Ben), Karl Hardman (Harry Cooper), Keith Wayne (Tom), Judith Ridley (Judy), Marilyn Eastman (Helen Cooper), Kyra Schon (Karen).
BW-96m.

by Richard Harland Smith

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

At its inception and throughout principal photography, Night of the Living Dead was referred to by cast and crew as Monster Flick.

George Romero originally offered direction on the film to Karl Hardman, an investor and supplier of the film's throbbing electronic sound effects track. Instead, Hardman served as a producer, still photographer and uncredited makeup artist, while playing the principal role of antagonist Harry Cooper.

Karl Hardman's real life 9-year-old daughter Kyra Schon was cast as Harry and Marilyn Cooper's onscreen daughter Karen, a role written for a young boy.

Although the casting of black actor Duane Jones as the film's resourceful protagonist marked a horror movie milestone, Romero always maintained that Jones was chosen primarily on the strength of his acting.

Lead actress Judith O'Dea was pursuing an acting career in Hollywood when she was asked to return to her hometown of Pittsburgh to audition for the female lead in Night of the Living Dead.

Shooting commenced in Evans City, an area of rural Pennsylvania forty miles north of Pittsburgh. For $300 a month, the filmmakers rented an old farmhouse that was later bulldozed to make room for a sod farm.

The mud floor basement of the farmhouse location was deemed unsuitable for filming and a more accommodating cellar set was constructed at the Pittsburgh office building where Latent Image was headquartered.

Russo recalled "We shot that picture in 30 days and they were real back-breaking days. Twenty-hour days. Some of us slept at the house where we were shooting. There wasn't running water. We had to carry water from a spring...Even to flush the toilets....We all built props. We made dummies that had to take gunshots."

The film's first scene, the initial cemetery attack on Barbara and Johnny, was the last filmed, in November 1967. The actors had to hold their breath to avoid visible condensation in the frosty autumn air.

Co-scenarist John A. Russo plays the first of the living dead to enter the farm house, for which he receives a tire iron in the forehead from hero Duane Jones.

The materials used in the film's infamous "zombie feast" included animal entrails obtained from a butcher's shop, ham glazed with Bosco chocolate syrup and mannequin limbs covered in Silly Putty.

For the scene where Ben kills Harry, Hardman said, "..as the character I saw what was coming. The force of the bullet was to slam me into the corner. I was to bounce off the corner, hit the piano on the other side of the doorway leading to the basement, then clutching myself, fall down the steps into the basement of the house. Well, there was a coat tree next to the door which had been in every shot and there were coats on it. Eleven times I got shot, slammed myself into the corner, bounced off onto the piano and got wrapped up in that coat tree, and the coat tree would follow me into the basement. By the time we got a good take I was so exhausted from laughing I hardly had enough energy left to do it."

According to Russell Streiner, "Probably the most difficult shooting was the day we photographed most of the posse, the helicopters and the police dogs. It was difficult just from a pure logistics point of view. We had an awful lot of people to handle. We also had to be careful. One person was assigned to make sure all of the live ammunition was out of the weapons being used in the scene and replaced with blanks. We didn't want any mishaps, or anything thinking they had an empty gun and, in fact, shooting someone."

Producer and original investor Russell Streiner, who also played Barbara's ill-fated brother Johnny, won $2,000 worth of soundtrack mixing for the film in a drunken game of chess with the President of the WRS Motion Picture Laboratory.

According to George Romero, Night of the Living Dead was originally ten minutes longer but the distributor pressured him to cut it down. Some of his directorial choices were overruled as well. "The feast on the front lawn was inserted again where I had another cut," recalled Romero," towards the end of the film when they're watching the second telecast they look out the window and I had expansive shots of the fields with just the ghouls dotting the countryside, which I felt at that point would have been more effective, but the distributor insisted that we cut back to the ghouls eating flesh. I said, no, we've had that, but of course, I didn't get my way."

Sources:
Cult Movies by Danny Peary
Dark Visions: Conversations with the Masters of the Horror Film by Stanley Wiater
The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror by David J. Skal
Midnight Movies by J. Hoberman & Jonathan Rosenbaum
The Cinema of George Romero: Knight of the Living Dead by Tony Williamsmovies.about.com
www.thefilmjournal.com
DVD Times
iconsofright.com
"Anatomy of a Horror Film", Interview by Gary Anthony Surmacz, Cinefantastique
"Romero," Interview by Tony Scott, Cinefantastique

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith & Jeff Stafford

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

In 1954, a 14-year old George Romero was arrested for throwing a burning mannequin off the roof of his Bronx apartment building while shooting an 8mm film titled The Man from the Meteor.

At the age of 19, Romero spent a summer as a grip on the New York location of Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959), alongside future fellow filmmaker Larry Cohen.

Romero attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now the Carnegie-Mellon Institute) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he met many of his future Night of the Living Dead collaborators.

Failing to secure financing to make his own feature film, Romero co-founded The Latent Image, Inc., an independent production house servicing Pittsburgh businesses and advertising agencies. With the earnings from their first jobs photographing weddings, Romero and his partners bought a toy hockey game and a pet monkey for their $50-a-month South Side office.

Hardman and onscreen wife Marilyn Eastman were at the time of filming partners in Hardman-Eastman Studios, a commercial production company based in Pittsburgh. They later married in real life.

George Romero appears in a cameo as a news reporter in a brief segment filmed in Washington, D.C.

Latent Image had attempted to license the musical score from Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman's Jack the Ripper (1959) but instead settled on selections from the Capital Hi-Q library. Some of the cues heard in the film can also be found in The Killer Shrews (1959).

In the shooting script, Barbara was the film's sole survivor.

Columbia Pictures was the only major studio to show interest in Night of the Living Dead, but ultimately balked at distributing the film because it was shot in black-and-white. Independent distributors American International Pictures passed on the project due to its downbeat ending.

By the time Monster Flick was in the can, the title had been changed to Night of the Flesheaters. Although early publicity materials bore this retitling, the threat of litigation from the producers of The Flesh Eaters (1964) necessitated the choice of a new tag. While the filmmakers favored Night of Anubis, a reference to the Egyptian god of death, Night of the Living Dead was selected by the film's exhibitor, Continental Distributing.

As part of its publicity campaign, Continental issued Lloyd's of London life insurance policies to Night of the Living Dead attendees, offering $50,000 to the survivors of any audience member frightened to death while watching the film.

In an angry editorial published in The Chicago Sun Times, film critic Roger Ebert condemned the film's exhibition as a kiddie matinee: "I don't think the younger kids really knew what hit them. They were used to going to movies, sure, and they'd seen some horror movies before, sure, but this was something else. This was ghouls eating people up...This was little girls killing their mothers."

In the spring of 1971, Night of the Living Dead played for twenty-five weeks in revival at the Walter Reade Theater in New York's Greenwich Village. That summer, the film began a two-year stay at the Plaza Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Because theatrical prints of Night of the Living Dead did not contain a copyright notice, the film ultimately fell into the public domain and none of the original investors ever profited directly from its theatrical distribution.

Although Night of the Living Dead sparked the zombie subgenre, whose number includes Jorge Grau's Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974), Lucio Fulci's Zombie (1979), Dan O'Bannon's The Return of the Living Dead (1985), the video game-derived Resident Evil (2002) and the comic homage Shaun of the Dead (2004), the Z-word is never once uttered in the script credited to George Romero and John A. Russo. Romero preferred to call the walking dead "ghouls."

Night of the Living Dead lead actor Duane Jones later appeared in the vampire films Ganja and Hess (1973) and To Die For (1989) before his untimely death from cardiopulmonary arrest in 1988.

Judith O'Dea runs her own communications and public speaking consulting company in Long Beach, California. She recently completed a role in the independent horror film The Ocean (2006).Supporting player Keith Wayne took his own life in 1995.

George Romero has directed three sequels to Night of the Living Dead: Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985) and Land of the Dead (2005). Romero provided the script for Tom Savini's remake of Night of the Living Dead in 1990.

Night of the Living Dead was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1999.

In 2001, Night of the Living Dead was included in the American Film Institute's listing of 100 most thrilling horror films.

Sources:
Cult Movies by Danny Peary
Dark Visions: Conversations with the Masters of the Horror Film by Stanley Wiater
The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror by David J. Skal
Midnight Movies by J. Hoberman & Jonathan Rosenbaum
The Cinema of George Romero: Knight of the Living Dead by Tony Williamsmovies.about.com
www.thefilmjournal.com
DVD Times
iconsofright.com
"Anatomy of a Horror Film", Interview by Gary Anthony Surmacz, Cinefantastique
"Romero," Interview by Tony Scott, Cinefantastique

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Shot for $114,000 after deferments, Night of the Living Dead was released by Continental Distributing, the motion picture exhibition arm of The Walter Reade Organization, with little fanfare. It wasn't until the film's 1969 re-release on the bottom half of a double bill with Herbert J. Biberman's Slaves (1969) that word of mouth began to spread about the little horror film that could.

"...one of the best horror films ever made."
Andrew Sarris, The Village Voice

"Night of the Living Dead...is one of the best horror films since Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers [1956]. The fact that the uniformly good cast is completely unknown enhances the movie's basic air of authenticity, and throughout there is a feeling that these are real people fighting the nightmarish horror threatening to engulf them. An uncommonly good shocker."
Peter Harris, Toronto Daily Star

"One of the most gruesomely terrifying movies ever made-and when you leave the theatre you may wish you could forget the whole horrible experience...The film's grainy, banal seriousness works for it-gives it a crude realism."
Pauline Kael

"In a mere 90 minutes, the horror film (pun intended) casts serious aspersions on the integrity and social responsibility of its Pittsburgh-based makers, distrib Walter Reade, the film industry as a whole, and exhibs who book the pic, as well as raising doubts about the future of the regional cinema movement and about the moral health of filmgoers who cheerfully opt for this unrelieved orgy of sadism... No brutalizing stone is left unturned."
Lee Beaupre, Variety

"The dialogue and background music sound hollow, as if they had been recorded in an empty swimming pool, and the wobbly camera seems to have a fetishist's interest in hands, clutched, wrung, scratched, severed, and finally-in the ultimate assumption-eaten like pizza."
Vincent Canby, New York Times

"Directors of the new high-budget horrors would do well to study the honest brutality and unrelieved gruesomeness of Night of the Living Dead; they might learn the difference between what makes people giggle nervously and what makes them scream in terror."
Howard Smith The Village Voice

"If you want to see what turns a B-movie into a classic...don't miss Night of the Living Dead. It is unthinkable for anyone seriously interested in horror movies not to see it."
Rex Reed

"A real shocker...it's a gourmet session for those followers of macabre, grotesque situations. A rouser for the strong-stomached horror film addict."
Thomas Blakely, The Pittsburgh Press

"... a pearl of a horror picture with all the earmarks of a sleeper...Those with queasy stomachs will find some of what goes on in the picture hard to take. Not many films have been able to create so vivid a sense of terror. There are a number of scenes that perhaps go too far in their realism."
Louis Pelegrine, Film Daily

"... a genuinely scary little horror picture for adults...wrings maximum effects from an absolute minimum of means... From this classically simple situation director George A. Romero and writer John A. Russo build an amazing amount of suspense. Romero keeps things constantly happening and directs with limitless energy... Night of the Living Dead is taut and uncompromising."
Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

"Courage has abounded in the making of this film and the risks have yielded high dividends."
Richard Weaver, Films and Filming

"You get what you pay for in Night of the Living Dead, a horror film that has the power to literally horrify. How sleet it is."
Kenneth Turan, Washington Post

"If you do like horror films, this may well be the most horrifying ever made. It eschews comic relief, explanatory scientists, romance, distractions of any sort-all the conventional elements usually tacked on to horror films to relieve tensions and which usually merely dilute interest."
Elliott Stein, Sight and Sound

"Director George A. Romero has done an admirable job of creating hysteria and crude, brutal mayhem, with the most functional camerawork and sound. I think the makers of Night of the Living Dead set out like many before them to make a quick horror film for a quick profit and they probably will."
Joseph Lewis, The Point

"Night of the Living Dead has a little of everything to satisfy most customers. There's the gore, the flowing blood. There's violence galore. There's an uncompromising ending that leaves most viewers dumbfounded. There's even a nude... before nudes were popular in horror films. In the last analysis, this unique film succeeded because it was the kind of film audiences hungered for. Simply, it was the right movie to come along at the right time. And it was honest. What it promised its audience, it gave them in full measure, even far exceeding most expectations."
Gary Anthony Surmacz, Cinefantastique

"...the pinnacle of zombie movies. Terrifying in its simple audacity, it boasts some of the most heart-stopping moments ever committed to celluloid. God bless George A. Romero."
Empire

"..a horror film without hope, a bleak, relentless nightmare of our fears about facing death...The crudity of the film, the pseudo-cinema verite use of the camera adds to the impression that what we are seeing is not solely fantasy, but a nightmare firmly fixed on reality."
Stuart M. Kaminsky, Cinefantastique

"The film's power lies in the way the basic plot....is carried through to its conclusion with ruthless logic and subtle irony, on the way deflating every cliche it throws up."
Phil Hardy, The Encyclopedia of Horror Movies.

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

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teaser Night of the Living Dead (1968)

It's hard to convey just how appalled some people were when Night of the Living Dead started popping up on movie screens back in 1968 - even Reader's Digest complained about it! Drive-ins and second-tier theaters were used to showing tacky movies, of course, many of which contained horrific creatures. But despite its obvious low budget, there's something very convincing about George Romero's nightmare vision of a small hamlet that's been overrun by flesh-eating zombies.

The minimalist plot of Night of the Living Dead makes it all the more horrifying. Simply put, a group of strangers end up trapped in a farmhouse as slow-moving zombies, who were created by radiation from a Venus space probe (don't ask), try to break in and eat them. Among the house's occupants is a woman (Judith O'Dea) who saw her brother attacked by one of the "living dead" while they visited their father's graveside, a black man (Duane Jones) who attempts to take charge of the situation, a middle class husband and wife (Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman) who are nursing a young daughter who was bitten by one of the ghouls, and the requisite terrified teenage couple (Keith Wayne and Judith Ridley).

Night of the Living Dead is one of the first horror films that refused to turn away from its own gruesomeness, and the terror it reveals can't be arrived at logically. The characters seem fated to simply live in a hell that they can't comprehend, until it breaks into their makeshift fortress and eats them alive. It's rather hard to believe, then, that this ultra-bleak vision was created by a gang of Pittsburgh-based filmmakers who normally churned out industrial films, sports coverage and local TV commercials! None of the performers had any big-screen experience (which is painfully obvious at certain points), and Romero himself had never shot a straight narrative.

I interviewed Romero several years ago, and mentioned that I thought Night of the Living Dead looked like the Zapruder film, and, laughing gleefully, he agreed with me. Night of the Living Dead remains unnerving because its black-and-white verite images look like they were recorded by accident. Romero has repeatedly stated that he couldn't have imagined the impact his little movie would have on the evolution of horror films. "When we were making Night of the Living Dead", he once said, "we thought it was going to be playing in a few drive-in theaters and maybe return our investment. And maybe if it did that, we'd be able to make something else. That's really as far as it went."

The overstated allegorical content of Romero's post-Night of the Living Dead pictures suggests that the first film's subtle, much-discussed "social commentary" was cooked up by critics. Romero, for one, has long insisted that Night of the Living Dead was designed as a horror-driven metaphor for America's collapsing social order. And he's never really shied away from the position that a black man was cast as the nominal hero, mainly so he could take a bullet from white authority figures who size him up as just another expendable zombie.

But key participants in Night of the Living Dead's production saw things quite differently, as they made clear in a revealing early 1970s interview with a Pittsburgh-based filmmaker named Gary Anthony Surmacz. "I think the film is an attempt to make money," screenwriter John Russo told Surmacz. "And it's an attempt to tell a good, honest, emotionally involving story. A lot of the critics have jumped off the deep end likening the ghouls to [Nixon's] silent majority and finding all sorts of implications that none of us ever intended. I think George wants to encourage that kind of thing on the part of some critics. But I'd rather tell them they're full of s**t."

In the same interview, co-producer Russell Streiner also picked up the argument: "I think that, in setting out to make a general entertainment film, if some critics were entertained to the point that they began reading all these fantastic social implications into it, fine, if that's how they're entertained. But I can't say that there were any overriding social ramifications in the original design of the film. I mean, that is just not true."

Regardless of the filmmakers' deeper intent, or lack thereof, much of Night of the Living Dead is hilarious. Let's face it, these zombies can be scared away by a burning La-Z-Boy recliner. But it can still give you a serious case of the creeps if you let it. Against all odds, a bunch of guys out in Pittsburgh, who apparently didn't know what they were doing, filmed your worst nightmare. And, as new generations of horror fans discover Night of the Living Dead, it's the nightmare that keeps on giving.

Producer: Russell Streiner, Karl Hardman
Director: George Romero
Screenplay: John A. Russo (based on a story by George Romero)
Cinematography: George Romero
Editing: George Romero
Production Design: Vincent Survinski
Special Effects: Regis Survinski, Tony Pantanello
Makeup: Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman
Cast: Judith O'Dea (Barbara), Russell Streiner (Johnny), Duane Jones (Ben), Karl Hardman (Harry Cooper), Keith Wayne (Tom), Judith Ridley (Judy), Marilyn Eastman (Helen Cooper), Kyra Schon (Karen).
BW-96m. Letterboxed.

by Paul Tatara

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

"You think I want to blow Sunday on a scene like this?" - Johnny

"They're coming to get you, Barbara." - Johnny
"Stop it-you're ignorant!" - Barbara

"They know we're in here now." - Ben

"We have to go out and get Johnny. He's out there." - Barbara

"Don't you know what's going on out there? This is no Sunday school picnic." - Ben

"Eyewitness accounts described the assassins as ordinary-looking people, misshapen monsters, people who look like they're in a trance, and creatures that look like people but behave like animals. Some tell of seeing victims that looked as if they had been torn apart. This whole ghastly story began developing two days ago, and from that point on, these terrible events kept on snowballing in a reign of terror that has not abated. Military personel and law enforcement agencies have been working hard in an attempt to gain some kind of control of this situation, but most of their efforts have been marginally futile up to this particular time."- Newscaster

"That's the cellar, it's the safest place."- Harry

"There could be fifteen million of those things out there. That's how much good these windows are." - Ben

"I'm telling you they can't get IN here!" - Ben to Harry
"And I'm telling you they turned over our car! We were damn lucky to get away at all! Now you're telling me these things can't get through a lousy pile of wood?" - Harry

"We may not enjoy living together, but dying together isn't going to solve anything." - Helen

"Now get the hell down in the cellar. You can be the boss down there, but I'm boss up here! - Ben

"It has been established that persons who have recently died have been returning to life and committing acts of murder. A widespread investigation of reports from funeral homes, morgues and hospitals has concluded that the unburied dead are coming back to life and seeking human victims." - Newscaster

"In the cold room at the University, we had a cadaver, a cadaver from which all limbs had been amputated. Some time early this morning, it opened its eyes and began to move its trunk. It was dead, but it opened its eyes and tried to move." - Dr. Grimes

"I hurt."- Karen

"I ought to drag you out there and FEED you to those things!" - Ben

"They're just dead flesh... and dangerous."- Sheriff McClelland

"You can't start the car. Johnny has the keys." - Barbara

Don't you understand? My brother is alone! - Barbara
Your brother is dead. - Ben
NO! My brother is NOT dead! - Barbara

I have to get that gun!- Harry
Haven't you had ENOUGH? - Helen
Look, two people are already dead on account of that guy! Take a look out that window! - Harry

"You know a place back down the road called Beekman's? Beekman's Diner? Anyhow, that's where I found that truck I have out there. There's a radio in the truck. I jumped in to listen, when a big gasoline truck came screaming right across the road! There must've been ten, fifteen of those things chasing after it, grabbing and holding on. Now, I didn't see them at first. I could just see that the truck was moving in a funny way. Those things were catching up to it. Truck went right across the road. I slammed on my breaks to keep from hitting it myself. It went right through the guard rail! I guess - guess the driver must've cut off the road into that gas station by Beekman's Diner. It went right through the billboard, ripped over a gas pump, and never stopped moving! By now it was like a moving bonfire! Didn't know if the truck was going to explode or what. I still hear the man... screaming. These things, just backing away from it! I looked back at the diner to see if - if there was anyone there who could help me. That's when I noticed that the entire place had been encircled. There wasn't a sign of life left, except...by now, there were no more screams. I realized that I was alone, with fifty or sixty of those things just...standing there, staring at me! I started to drive, I - I just plowed right through them! They didn't move! They didn't run, or...they just stood there, staring at me! I just wanted to crush them! And they scattered through the air, like bugs." - Ben

"Kill the brain and you kill the ghoul."- Sheriff McClelland

"Are they slow-moving, chief?" - Field Reporter
"Yeah, they're dead, they're all messed up." - Sheriff McClelland

"Beat 'em or burn 'em. They go up pretty easy." - Sheriff McClelland

"Boy, somebody had a cookout here." - Sheriff McClelland

"That's another one for the fire!" - Sheriff McClelland

"Because of the obvious threat to untold numbers of citizens due to the crisis that is even now developing, this radio station will remain on the air day and night. This station and hundreds of other radio and TV stations throughout this part of the country are pooling their resources through an emergency network hook-up to keep you informed of all developments. At this hour, we repeat, these are the facts as we know them. There is an epidemic of mass murder being committed by a virtual army of unidentified assassins. The murders are taking place in villages and cities, in rural homes and suburbs with no apparent pattern nor reason for the slayings. It seems to be a sudden general explosion of mass homicide. We have some descriptions of the assassins. Eyewitnesses say they are ordinary-looking people. Some say they appear to be in a kind of trance. Others describe them as being misshapen monsters. At this point, there's no really authentic way for us to say who or what to look for and guard yourself against. Reaction of law enforcement officials is one of complete bewilderment at this hour. Police and sheriff's deputies and emergency ambulances are literally deluded with calls for help. The scene can be best described as mayhem. The mayors of Pittsburg, Philadelphia, and Miami, along with the governments of several eastern and midwestern states indicated that the National Guard may be mobilized at any moment, but that has not happened as yet. The main advice news reporters have been able to get from official sources is to tell private citizens to stay inside their homes behind locked doors. Do not venture outside for any reason until the nature of this crisis has been determined, and until we can advise what course of action to take. Keep listening to radio and TV for special instructions as this crisis develops further. Thousands of office and factory workers are being urged to stay at their places of employment, not to make any attempt to get to their homes. However, in spite of this urging and warning, streets and highways are packed with frantic people trying to reach their families or, apparently, to flee just anywhere. We repeat, the safest course of action at this time is simply to stay where you are. Ladies and gentlemen, we've just received word that the President has called a meeting of his Cabinet to deal with the sudden epidemic of murder that has seized the eastern third of this nation. The meeting is scheduled to convene within the hour. Members of the Presidential Cabinet will be joined by officials of the FBI and military advisors. White House spokesmen are saying there will be an official announcement immediately following that meeting. This is the latest dispatch just received in our news room. The latest word also - this is from nation press services in Washington, D.C. - tells us that the emergency Presidential conference which we just mentioned will include high-ranking scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. So far, the best advice they are able to give the public is this quote from Chief T. K. Dunbar from Camden, North Carolina, who is quoted as saying, "Tell the people for God's sake to get off the streets! Tell them to go home and lock their windows and doors up tight!" - News Reporter

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

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