Think you’ve pulled off the prank of the century? Think again! Since the beginning of mass media, there have been epic pranks carried out every April 1st— sometimes by high ranking government officials, newspapers, or just cunning entrepreneurs. Here’s a list of some of the best pranks ever carried out in the name of April Fools’ Day.
Wisconsin Capitol Collapse
In 1933, a newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin ran a front-page article declaring that the State Capitol building had collapsed due to “hot air” from arguing legislators. The article was accompanied by a remarkably realistic looking photograph that showed the formerly proud dome of the Capitol lying in ruins around the base of the building. The article slyly suggested that “that large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the Senate and Assembly chambers, had in some way been ignited.”
Although some people realized it was a joke, many other people were upset that the article took such a light tone with something that they didn’t think was a joking matter.