The Museum of Hoaxes
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April Fool's Day, 1935
Dictators in Breadline. (1935)
"The picture... shows the present plight of the former three most powerful dictators of Europe, summarily ousted by their parties when they were discovered in a hotel room playing a game called 'Guns, Guns — Who's got the Munitions Contract?' Der ex-Reichfuhrer Adolf Hitler, dejection in every line of his face, is gratefully receiving a handout. Italy's Benito Mussolini pushes in for his turn, hoping vainly that there'll be spaghetti. Russia's Joseph Stalin, third in line, smiles sardonically at the turn of events, and has just coined a little wisecrack: 'Let them eat crusts!' [Picture distributed by the Newspaper Enterprise Association] More…
Political Foes? Nonsense! All Is Harmony!. (1935)
"Here is the first picture of the new Harmony Three formed by Father Coughlin, Senator Long and General Johnson. After weeks of bitter wrangling about financial problems they have accepted a vaudeville contract which solves for them, personally, at least, all further worries about money. They were snapped during a rehearsal of their opening number, which begins like this: Oh, we're Charley and Huey and Hugh! We're pals: no hooey—that's true! The state of the nation—depression—inflation No longer makes each of us blue—hey-hey! For we're Charley and Huey and Hugh. Note how enthusiastically the General, who sings bass, is coming in on the last note. Each member of the More…
Mona Lisa Smiles on Demand. (1935)
The Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung reported the discovery that Leonardo da Vinci had originally painted the Mona Lisa frowning, not smiling. As a result, the Louvre had restored the painting to its original condition. But because the Mona Lisa's unhappy scowl seemed to rob the painting of much of its charm, the museum's directors were considering changing the frown back into a smile. More…
Prince of Wales Weds Princess ‘X’. (1935)
"H.R.H. Edward, Prince of Wales, is seen placing a ring on the finger of his bride. Note that she is masked. This precaution was considered necessary to hide her identity from several thousand members of the Girls Who Have Danced With the Prince of Wales Association, whose protest demonstration staged outside the palace during the ceremony had reached the proportions of a riot." [Picture distributed by the Newspaper Enterprise Association] More…
Pineapple Juice Tower. (1935)
The Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung reported that Honolulu's famous pineapple-shaped water tower, which stood over the cannery of the Dole Food Co., was actually filled with pineapple juice, not water. The juice was supplied free of charge through a "special pipe network" to the homes of employees of the pineapple company, after six o'clock in the evening. More…
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