The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Script of Casablanca rejected, 1982
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Dead Body of Loch Ness Monster Found, 1972
Dr. Stransky’s Dinner Party -- April Fool's Day, 1925
Over thirty members of Washington's social elite received invitations to attend a dinner at a Washington social club, to be hosted by Dr. Pavel Stransky, secretary of the Czechoslovak legation. Those who were invited included diplomats, debutantes, White House aides, and army and naval officers.

Invitations were extended by telephone by a woman speaking with a French accent. She told them that the dinner was to be given by Dr. Stransky at 8 o'clock. "You weel come," one invitee remembered her saying, "or Dr. Stransky weel be ver-ry disappoint. At eight. Au revoir, Monsieur!"

Every one accepted. However many, noting the date, decided not to attend. Those who did show up discovered there was no host. Nor had any reservations been made. Dr. Stransky later protested that he was the main victim of the prank since he had organized no such event. He told the press, "I sent no invitations. I am astonished. People call me and say: 'You are giving a dinner.' Today is the 1st of April and I think it is all a joke. But why should they pick on me?" [The Washington Post, Apr 2, 1925.]

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