The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
Dog wins art contest, 1974
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
The Great Wasp Swarm Hoax -- April Fool's Day, 1949
Phil Shone, a New Zealand deejay for radio station 1ZB, announced to his listeners that a mile-wide wasp swarm was headed towards Auckland. He urged his listeners to take a variety of steps to protect themselves and their homes from the winged menace. For instance, he suggested that they wear their socks over their trousers when they left for work, and that they leave honey-smeared traps outside their doors. Hundreds of people dutifully heeded his advice, until he finally admitted that it had all been a joke.

The New Zealand Broadcasting Service was not amused by Shone's prank. Its director, Professor James Shelley, denounced the hoax on the grounds that it undermined the rules of proper broadcasting. From then on, a memo was sent out each year before April Fool's Day reminding New Zealand radio stations of their obligation to report the truth, and nothing but the truth.

April Fool Categories: Animals, Radio, New Zealand, 1949, Fake Warnings.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.