The Museum of Hoaxes
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Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
The Olympic Underwear Relay, 1956
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
The Hitler Diary Hoax, 1983
The Great Cave Sell -- April Fool's Day, circa 1845
On an undetermined April 1 in the 1840s, a story appeared in the Boston Post announcing that a cave full of treasure had been discovered beneath Boston Common. It had supposedly been uncovered by workmen as they removed a tree from the Common. As the tree fell, it revealed a stone trap-door with a large iron ring set in it. Beneath the door was a stone stairway that led to an underground cave. In this cave lay piles of jewels, old coins, and weapons with jeweled handles. As word of the discovery spread throughout Boston, parties of excited curiosity-seekers began marching out across the Common to view the treasure. A witness later described the scene: "It was rainy, that 1st of April, the Legislature was in session, and it was an animated scene that the Common presented, roofed with umbrellas, sheltering pilgrims on their way to the new-found sell. A procession of grave legislators marched solemnly down under their green gingham, while philosophers, archaeologists, numismatists, antiquarians of all qualities, and the public generally paid tribute to the Post's ingenuity." Of course, the Common was empty of all jewel-bearing caverns, as the crowd of treasure seekers eventually discovered to its disappointment.

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