1. The Invention of the Bathtub
Journalist H.L. Mencken decided to take it upon himself to test the American public on their gullibility. In 1917, “The Evening Mail” newspaper ran a story by called “A Neglected Anniversary,” about the public not celebrating the 75th anniversary of the invention of the bathtub. Despite the article being filled with lies and random, fabricated details of the bathtub’s history, the public ate it up and believed every word of Mencken’s story.
It went so far as to be reprinted in multiple newspapers, while some details even appeared in reference books. Mencken later tried to admit his guilt in print, but numerous people still continued to believe the concocted story.