The Museum of Hoaxes
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Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
Tourist Guy 9/11 Hoax, Sep 2001
Van Gogh's ear exhibited, 1935
Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps?
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
The Madmen of Gotham -- April Fool's Day, circa 1200
British folklore links April Fool's Day to the town of Gotham, the legendary town of fools located in Nottinghamshire. According to legend, it was traditional in the 13th century for any road that the King placed his foot upon to become public property. So when the citizens of Gotham heard that King John (1166-1216) planned to travel through their town, they refused him entry, not wishing to lose their main road. When the King heard this, he sent soldiers to the town. But when the soldiers arrived in Gotham, they found the town full of lunatics engaged in foolish activities such as drowning fish or attempting to cage birds in roofless fences. Their foolery was all an act to make the King believe they were insane. The King fell for the ruse and declared the town too foolish to warrant punishment. Ever since then, according to legend, April Fool's Day has commemmorated their trickery. (The thumbnail shows a 1630 woodcut depicting a citizen of Gotham trying to trap a bird inside a roofless fence.)


Links and References
circa 1200
April Fool Categories: United Kingdom, Before 1700.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.