In the spirit of April Fools Day on Sunday, the Museum of Hoaxes in San Diego has come up with 10 of the best pranks ever pulled on this day–based on their “notoriety, absurdity, and number of people duped.” Included on the list is a 1996 Taco Bell hoax in which the fast-food company announced it had purchase the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” Another great prank was a 1992 National Public Radio (NPR) report which announced that Richard Nixon was running for the president again, using the campaign slogan, “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” It also included audio clips from a Nixon impersonator.
On the religious side, a 1998, newsletter “New Mexicans for Science and Reason” published a fake article, which stated that Alabama had voted to change the mathematical value of pi from 3.14159 to the “Biblical value” of 3.0.
Personally, I think nothing beats Beliefnet’s 2004 prank, when we ran fake news stories claiming the Dalai Lama had gotten a makeover–complete with a large belt buckle and oversized jewelry–in an effort to connect with young people. He was quoted as saying, “A little bling-bling never hurt anything.” We also ran “news” stories claiming Oprah was added to the trinity, the Vatican was unveiling a mint-flavored host, and we included a hilarious audio meditation, “Smell the Healing Energy.”
You can read Beliefnet’s full coverage here.