Journalist H.L. Mencken published an article in the New York Evening Mail
describing the history of the bathtub in America, noting that people were slow to accept tubs, believing they were dangerous to health. This attitude, Mencken said, changed when President Millard Fillmore became the first president to install a tub in the White House. Mencken's history of the bathtub wasn't true. He intended it as a joke, but few people recognized it as such. Details from Mencken's article began to appear in other papers. One scholar included the tale in a history of hygiene. To this day, many people still believe that Mencken's fake history of the bathtub is true.
Hoaxes of the 1910s