Happy April Fools’ Day!

04/01/2010 at 1:34 PM Leave a comment

I’m sure most of you have had an experience with April Fools’ Day—either as the joker or the recipient. I thought it might be fun to share a few hoaxes with you that the media has played, and, believe it or not, people bought. I guess it goes to show: you can’t be convinced by everything you see or hear.

The Taco Bell Liberty Bell
In 1996, the Taco Bell Corporation announced that it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia, where the bell is housed, to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known, he said, as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

The Left-Handed Whopper
In 1998 Burger King published a full-page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu, a Whopper specifically designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new Whopper included all the same ingredients as the original (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day, Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the left-handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new burger. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own right-handed version.”

Los Angeles Highways Close for Repairs
In 1987, a Los Angeles DJ announced that on April 8 the LA highway system would be shut down for repairs for an entire month. This was alarming news in LA, where it’s necessary to use the highway to get anywhere. The radio station immediately received hundreds of frantic calls in response to the announcement, and the California Highway Patrol reported that they were also flooded with calls throughout the day. The station later admitted that it was stunned by the intensity of the public reaction to the hoax. A representative from the California Department of Transportation called the station’s managers to share their opinion of the prank. Reportedly, “they didn’t think it was very funny.”

Well, those are just a few funny pranks that I thought would be good to share. Visit www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/ for more good April Fools’ Day hoaxes.


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