Saturday, March 31, 2007


Fool's Gold

Over at the Museum of Hoaxes, the Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time, while today's Guardian excerpts from its new Guardian Book of April Fool's Day to describe one early prank from the 1840s:

Printed by the Boston Post... it electrified the city by announcing that a cavern full of gold, jewels and other loot had been found by workmen digging out the roots of a felled tree on Boston Common. Everyone could go and have a peek at the presumed pirate hoard, or cache left by the dastardly British, on April 1. As an eyewitness recorded: "It was rainy, the Legislature was in session, and it was an animated scene that the Common presented, roofed with umbrellas, sheltering pilgrims on their way. A procession of grave legislators marched solemnly down under their green gingham with philosophers, archaeologists, numismatists, antiquarians of all qualities and the public." Nothing awaited them except disappointment, the rain-soaked turf of the common and a small hole.

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