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6 Crazy Fake News ONLY Baby Boomers Will Remember

Baby boomers, I challenge you: do you remember this fake news? I do!

Nothing can spread around quicker than fake news. Someone tells something outrageous and out-of-this-world that is quickly brought up by someone else in a conversation, and before you know it, the entire world knows anything and everything about a particular aspect. That’s the power of a rumor. Easy to spread, hard to contradict.

Nowadays, fake news meets the world at the speed of light and is even accompanied by cleverly realistic evidence to back it up. But rumors were part of the world before the advent of artificial intelligence, social media, deep fakes, or the Internet. Unfortunately, they’re part of the human connection, and we’ve all engaged in at least one, whether unintentionally or not.

We wanted to talk about some of the most popular rumors in our country’s history. As a baby boomer, I remember most of this fake news. Do you? Let’s see! Here are the weirdest and most famous rumors that have ever gone viral:

things that died along with the Titanic, fake news
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1. The Titanic and the mummy curse (1914)

We all know the tragic ending of the Titanic, the cruise ship that was built to last and have a glorious journey. Expectations are different from reality, and the giant ship hit an iceberg on the night of April 15th, 1912, and sank within two hours, shocking the entire world.

Sometimes it’s easier to believe rumors than to listen to the facts, and this is exactly what happened after the 1912 tragedy. Countless fake news stories appeared, and many of them are popular to this day. These rumors are indeed creative, and one popular one says that there was a cursed Egyptian mummy onboard. The story then said that the mummy caused such a disaster at the British Museum that they were shipping it to America to get rid of it.

According to an article from The International Psychic Gazette published in a 1914 issue of The Sun, one of the museum authorities brought this fake news to the public. As a response to the rumor, the British Museum posted a photo of the allegedly cursed “mummy board,” saying that the story is nothing more than a rumor. They added that the mummy never left the museum until it went to a temporary exhibition in 1990.

2. President Warren G. Harding was black (1920)

During a period when it seemed impossible for a black or even half-black man to be elected president, a college lecturer accused Warren G. Harding of keeping his black great-grandmother Elizabeth Madison a secret.

In 2015, the story was eventually disproved thanks to DNA testing, so we can all be certain that it was nothing more than a piece of fake news. However, a myth about Harding that was confirmed by the same tests was that he had fathered an illegitimate child with a mistress. So, what can we say? Spread a rumor, and maybe you’ll find the truth! (*Just kidding*).

3. The Japanese attacked Los Angeles (1942)

Only a couple of months after Pearl Harbor, the anxiety built during the war gave rise to the idea that the Japanese would launch an air attack on Southern California. On February 25th, 1942, several anti-aircraft batteries in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas blasted thousands of rounds into the night sky, trying to drive back the invaders.

Ironically, the non-event became known as the Battle of Los Angeles after authorities determined in a matter of days that it was nothing more than a false alarm.

The Japanese attack scenario was immediately disproved, but since then, enthusiasts of unidentified flying objects have claimed that the “Battle” provides proof of alien visits over Los Angeles. What do you say? Are aliens real, or is this only a piece of fake news? Leave a comment below, and let’s chat!

fake news
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4. Paul McCartney is dead (1969)

Now let’s talk about a musical piece of fake news because this one is still around us. Some students on a college campus claimed that Beatle Paul McCartney had died in a 1966 car accident and been replaced by a double. Radio disc jockeys heard and played a major role in the rumor’s spreading to the general public.

The Beatles’ intriguing lyrics and experiments with backward recordings gave fans ample material for a global pastime: searching for hidden meanings in their songs. Even though two of the Fab Four have passed away, McCartney, the real one, is alive and thriving.

Since we’re talking about the Beatles, what’s your favorite song from them? I love “Don’t Let Me Down.” It always gives me chills. If you like their songs and you’d love to listen to their music on vinyl records, here’s something wonderful for you!

5. Elvis Presley is alive (1977)

The music industry and fake news seem to have an interesting connection, don’t they? Millions of fans worldwide were devastated when the king of rock’n’roll, Elvis Presley, died in 1977 when he was only 42 years old. People immediately started rumors that he was, in fact, alive, wanted a break from fame, and just went hiding. There’s also another piece of fake news saying that he faked his death to escape the Mafia.

What’s even more interesting is that this rumor is still going strong today, and according to sources, no less than 4% of Americans still believe that Mr. Presley is still alive, hiding somewhere in the world.

fake news
Photo by Everett Collection from

6. World War I is over (1918)

November 7th, 1918, was a happy day for thousands, if not millions, of Americans. Everyone left work or their homes and took to the streets to celebrate the end of the Great War. Office workers in beautiful New York threw pieces of ripped phone directories out their windows, while churches and schools rang their bells, factories sounded their horns, and ships in the harbor were happily whistling. From his hotel balcony, opera legend Enrico Caruso led a sing-along of the national anthem. Everyone was happy, and people were smiling again.

The situation wasn’t different in other parts of the country either, and several American cities were filled with positivity and joy. Partygoers flocked to Independence Hall in Philadelphia and rang the Liberty Bell, while the police in Chicago “were forced to use their clubs” to keep the masses under control.

While this seems like a genuine thing to do when you hear such good news, the thing was that the conflict wasn’t truly over. The piece of fake news had been sparked by a false newspaper report. Even though the government debunked it in a matter of hours, the war-weary masses chose to accept the good news. When the war truly ended, four days later, Americans were just as happy as they were the first time. And why shouldn’t they? They were able to hug their departed loved ones again.

Did you know about this story?

Do you remember all of this fake news? I did! If you’d like to read part two of these rumors only baby boomers know about, leave a comment below, and I’ll take care of it! If you enjoyed reading this story and you’d like to check out something else from Mind-Bending Facts, here’s a good post for you: 7 Unbelievable Thrift Store Trends That Are Disappearing From Stores

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