The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps?
Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
Dog wins art contest, 1974
Hearst’s War, 1897
William Randolph Hearst, owner of the New York Journal, had a reputation for never letting truth get in the way of a good story. According to one famous tale, when hostilities broke out between the Spanish and the Cubans, Hearst sent the illustrator Frederic Remington to Cuba to draw pictures of the conflict. Finding that not much was happening, Remington cabled Hearst in January 1897: "Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return."

Supposedly Hearst cabled back: "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

It is doubtful Hearst ever sent such a telegram. The first report of it appeared in a 1901 book, On the Great Highway, by journalist James Creelman. Creelman was in Europe at the time the telegram was supposedly sent, so he either heard the story second-hand or invented it himself. Since he was known for exaggeration, the latter is likely. Hearst himself denied having sent such a telegram.

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