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The Taco Liberty Bell -- April Fool's Day, 1996
The fast food chain Taco Bell took out a full page ad in the New York Times to announce that they were purchasing the Liberty Bell and renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Their reason for doing this was to "do their part to reduce the country's debt." In a related release, the company pointed out that corporations had been adopting highways for years, and that Taco Bell was simply "going one step further by purchasing one of the country's greatest historic treasures." Thousands of people called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the Liberty Bell was housed to angrily protest the selling of the bell. Taco Bell kept a straight face until noon, at which point it revealed that the earlier press releases were jokes. Soon afterwards Mike McCurry, the White House spokesperson, responded to the jest by declaring that the federal government would also be "selling the Lincoln Memorial to Ford Motor Company and renaming it the Lincoln-Mercury Memorial." The hoax paid off for Taco Bell. Their sales during the first week of April shot up by over half a million dollars. (For more details, see the article: Taco Liberty Bell.)
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