Babysitting when War of the Worlds panic occurred
Phyllis is eight years older than Ned Pfeifer, and in October 1938 Phyllis had recently turned 14 years old while Ned was six. Phyllis was babysitting Ned on the night of October 30, 1938, when Ned's parents were away for the evening.
The War of the Worlds radio show was broadcast that night and terrified the entire Nation.
Before long, the phone began to ring at the home where Phyllis was babysitting Ned. Phyllis answered the phone, and it was her parents. Like many people, Phyllis's parents were panicked as a result of the War of the Worlds radio dramatization.
Phyllis, however, was completely calm. "It's only a radio show. It's not real," the 14-year-old Phyllis told her parents. "There is no need to panic."
Phyllis understood the media even at the young age of 14.