King George III
King George III of England, who despised King Louis XVI of France, was only too delighted when the French people rose up and overthrew their leader. As a little April Fool’s day joke he declared that he would step down from his own throne, in solidarity with King Louis XVI. Of course he was simply mocking the other king, but many English peasants thought that he was serious. As news spread they swarmed the streets, where they were promptly arrested and jailed. April Fools!
Never one to shy away from crazy advertising, in 1996 Taco Bell took out 6 full page newspaper ads claiming that they had bought the naming rights to the Liberty Bell and would be renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. The National Historic Park in Philadelphia was quickly overwhelmed with letters from outraged citizens who demanded to know how such a horrible thing could be allowed. The next day it was revealed to big a big joke, even prompting the White House to comment to the press that the Lincoln Memorial would be renamed the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
Lung Powered Flight
A German newspaper ran a fake photo of a German pilot, Erich Kocher, who had invented a machine that could fly with nothing more than the pilot’s lungs powering it. While it was understood that it was an April Fool’s joke in Germany, a number of American newspapers, including the New York Times, picked up the story and ran it as if it were real. Needless to say their readers were not happy when the hoax was revealed, and that ‘Kocher’ in German means puff or wheeze.
A Swiss news station ran a fake story back in 1967 claiming that the Americans had landed on the moon (we didn’t make it there until 1969). At the time the Americans were very publicly involved in a moon race with Russia at the time. The broadcast was several hours long, and included fake interviews with a number of real experts. This prank was so logical that there was nobody who knew it was all made up. The broadcast ended by telling everyone that if they found a high enough spot that was far enough away from city lights they would be able to see the space ship make its way back to earth later that night. Apparently the city emptied as everyone rushed to the nearby mountains.
Back in 1971 two Texas legislators were convinced that their fellow state house mates were not reading the bills they were passing. So to test their theory, they put forward a motion to officially honor Albert DeSalvo for “his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control.” Unsurprisingly the bill passed unanimously. When it was later revealed that Albert DeSalvo was better known as the “Boston Strangler”, more than a few politicians were left with a little bit of egg on their face.
Dr. Mike Malone and his team practice expert cosmetic dentistry in Lafayette, LA. Dr. Malone is the former president and current accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is also the official Cosmetic Dentist of the Miss Louisiana USA and Miss Louisiana Teen USA pageants. Check out his website for more information.