The Museum of Hoaxes
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The damp spot that hoaxed a city, 1912
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Athens Pollution Alert -- April Fool's Day, 1982
Greece's state-controlled National Radio Network issued a warning that pollution had reached emergency levels in downtown Athens, and that the city would have to be immediately evacuated. All schools were called upon to close immediately, and the children to be sent home. Furthermore, anyone driving a car was asked to abandon it and flee to open ground.

Many people took the broadcast seriously and attempted to leave the city, since pollution was (and is) a serious problem in Athens. Within three hours the Radio Network had retracted the broadcast, revealing it to be a joke, but by then the damage had been done. One man sued the network for $820,000, claiming the prank had caused him mental distress. The director of the network submitted his resignation over the incident, and the originator of the hoax was fired.

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.