Museum of Hoaxes
March 2002 Newsletter


I've finally completed the April Fool's Day Gallery. Visitors to the site will recognize parts of it, but the new additions (including many new pictures) have greatly expanded it. I believe it's now the most comprehensive history of April Fool's Day ever compiled, online or offline. Read through it from the beginning or browse through some of the new entries listed below:

1) THE EARLY ROOTS OF APRIL FOOL'S DAY: April has been a time of foolery for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. Read about some of the early festivals similar to April Fool's Day and find out why anthropologists believe that humans celebrate trickery.

2) THE ORIGIN OF APRIL FOOL'S DAY?: Was a sixteenth-century Papal decision to change New Year's Day from April 1 to January 1 responsible for April Foolery?

3) PRANKS OUR ANCESTORS GOT UP TO: They're called 'fool's errands' or 'sleeveless errands.' They're time-honored ways of having a laugh at someone else's expense.

4) EDISON INVENTS FOOD MACHINE: Every American alive during the 19th century knew that Thomas Edison was the greatest genius of all time. Therefore, it made perfect sense that he could invent a machine to produce food out of thin air.

5) THE GREAT WASP SWARM HOAX: New Zealanders were terrified to learn that a mile-wide wasp swarm was headed towards the mainland. They dutifully pulled up their socks above their trousers to protect themselves, as instructed by the deejay.

6) THE ERUPTION OF MOUNT EDGECUMBE: Everyone in Sitka, Alaska thought that Mt. Edgecumbe was a dormant volcano, until smoke started billowing out of the crater.

7) APRIL FOOL'S DAY, 2002: April Fool's Day is a week away, but a few hoaxes have already begun to appear.


1) COINCIDENCE DESIGN: Have you ever seen someone in a crowd or sitting at another table in a restaurant whom you'd really like to meet, but you can't think of a graceful way to do it? This organization makes it possible.

2) OKLAHOMA ASSOCIATION OF WINE PRODUCERS: Apparently Oklahoma is not particularly famous for its wine, though this page would have you believe otherwise.

3) GOLDEN GATE TUNNEL: The official web site of the Golden Gate Tunnel and the Golden Gate Tunnel Store.

4) LINCOLN PARK TRIXIE SOCIETY: Lincoln Park is a trendy Chicago neighborhood. This society caters to the special needs and aspirations of its upwardly-mobile residents known as Trixies.

Check out the full list of hoax websites.


Readers have written in about a variety of subjects, including: subliminal advertising, jackalopes, polar gravity, the Emperor Nero, and flying reindeer. Check out the latest e-mails here.

Past Newsletters: January/February 2002

December 2001

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