The original social experiment was named “The Third Wave” and occurred at Cubberley Senior High School in Palo Alto, California, in March/April 1967. Teacher Ron Jones wrote a short story about the experience that was published in spring 1976. This was followed by an ABC-TV movie (“The Wave”) by famed producer Norman Lear on October 4, 1981 (got an Emmy). The subsequent 1981 book “The Wave” is a novelization of the Lear movie, and was written by Todd Strasser (aka Morton Rhue). This book is widely read by students in schools throughout the world (millions of copies in many languages). In spring 2008, German director Dennis Gansel’s popular movie “Die Welle” updated the story in a high school in present-day Germany. In 2010, Emmy nominee and original Third Wave class member Philip Neel’s documentary of the original Third Wave class experiment, entitled “Lesson Plan,“ premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival. In November 2019, Dennis Gansel’s team returned with a German Netflix miniseries called “We Are The Wave” which continues the tradition of youth caught up in their cause and getting carried away. In December 2019, History Channel Germany’s Director of Production Emanuel Rotstein produced a new Third Wave documentary called “Invisible Line.” There have also been various Wave plays and musicals performed over the years, including a musical by original teacher Ron Jones that debuted in 2010, as well as his play “The Third Wave” in 2011.

WAVE STORY CHRONOLOGY  (more detail and links within this website)

1967 Original “Third Wave” Class, Palo Alto, California
1976 Ron Jones First Short Story “The Third Wave”
1981 Norman Lear ABC-TV Movie “The Wave”
1981 Todd Strasser (Morton Rhue) Novelization “The Wave”
2008 German Movie “Die Welle”
2010 Third Wave Documentary Film “Lesson Plan”
2019 Netflix Germany Miniseries “We Are The Wave”
2019 A+E Networks Germany Documentary Film “The Invisible Line”