Famous Hoaxes Throughout History

Before 1700 | 1700-1799 | 1800-1868| 1869-1913| 1914-1949| 1950-1976| 1977-1989| 1990-1999| After 2000


As the 1970s neared their end, an economic shift began to transform the industrial societies of the world. The stable, centralized control of the Cold War status quo gave way to decentralized, competitive frenzy. For individuals this economic shift was a double-edged sword. Young, ambitious college-educated workers (dubbed 'yuppies') profited from the rapidly growing information economy and the booming stock market. But many blue-collar workers were shunted out of the relative security of unionized manufacturing jobs and into less stable, lower-paying careers in the service industry. The most famous hoaxes of this decade (Rosie Ruiz, Janet Cooke's journalistic inventions, the Hitler diaries) reflected this mood of insecurity and uncertainty. The atmosphere of risk and rapid change created what academics refer to as a 'postmodern sensibility', which basically means that people began to believe that nothing could be taken for granted, not even the most widely assumed truths.

Alternative Three
A vast conspiracy to flee our doomed world
The Sydney Iceberg
Iceberg appears in Sydney harbor
The Cloning of a Man
Have human beings already been cloned?
Lady Liberty on Lake Mendota
The day the Statue of Liberty poked her head above the chilly waters of Lake Mendota
Rosie Ruiz
Con artist wins the Boston Marathon
The Prediction of Tamara Rand
Psychic predicts the attempted assassination of President Reagan after the fact
Jimmy's World
Washington Post reporter wins Pulitzer for tale of 8-year-old heroin addict
The Interfering Brassieres
British brassieres cause television interference
The Hitler Diaries
Der Stern's great discovery