The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
The worms inside your face
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
The Tydings Affair
In 1950 Millard Tydings (a U.S. Senator from Maryland) challenged Senator Joseph McCarthy by calling his allegation that hundreds of communists were working in the State Department "a fraud, a hoax, and a deceit." As payback, McCarthy's staff faked a picture (top) of Tydings (on the right) apparently chatting with Earl Browder (on the left), head of the American Communist Party. The truth was that Tydings had never even met Browder before July, 1950. The image was a composite of a 1938 photo of Tydings listening to the radio (middle) and a 1940 photo of Browder delivering a speech (bottom).

The photo was widely distributed shortly before the 1950 senate race in which Tydings ran against John Butler. It appeared in a pamphlet titled "From the Record" printed by a group calling itself Young Democrats for Butler. A caption acknowledged the photo was a composite. Nevertheless, the image is believed to have contributed to Tydings' subsequent defeat in the election.

Links and References
• "Faked photo shows Tydings and Browder." (Nov 8, 1950). The Washington Post.
Millard Tydings, Wikipedia.
Photo Categories: Composite Images, Politics, 1940-1959


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