In 1996, Taco Bell ran an ad saying it had bought the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and planned to rename it as the "Taco Liberty Bell."
Horror-struck patriots around the country arose in indignant protest, but had they checked their calendars, they would perhaps have simply enjoyed a chuckle.
It was, of course, an April Fools Day prank, carrying on a tradition that dates back over several centuries.
News organizations, not normally known for playfulness, often carry off some of the most successful pranks.
In 1957, a BBC program called "Paranorma" carried a report about a bumper crop of spaghetti being harvested by Swiss spaghetti farmers.
Viewers phoned in to inquire about obtaining their own spaghetti trees.
A 1993 press release sent to a newspaper in Columbus, Ohio claimed to be sent from the "Arm the Homeless Coalition," announcing it would arm and train homeless people for their own protection.
The hoax caught the attention of the AP, CNN, and even Rush Limbaugh before it came out that the "coalition" was actually three college students trying to make a point about homelessness and gun violence.
Even staid radio network NPR managed to pull off a major stunt, announcing in 1992 that former President Richard Nixon was once again planning to run for office, with the campaign slogan "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again."
Retail giants often play the game. In 1998, Burger King ran a full page ad in USA Today announcing the creation of the "Left Handed Whopper." The burger's condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the convenience of its southpaw customers.
KRMG radio pulled off a pretty effective hoax a few years back, when morning show host John Erling announced on the air that stealth bombers were performing "touch and go" maneuvers at Tulsa International Airport.
Disappointed listeners who called to say they couldn't see the planes were told to listen for them -- after all, they were stealthy.
Today, the White House posted this video as its homage to the pranking tradition:
What was your favorite April Fools Day joke ever? Text us at 95920 or visit our Facebook page and let us know.