It’s the day after Thanksgiving in fake news land, so we’ll make it short and sweet:
- Fake news isn’t new. Here’s a Thanksgiving themed item from way back in 1904, when the Boston Herald ran a story about Teddy Roosevelt’s kids chasing the official presidential turkey all around the White House grounds “until the bird was well nigh exhausted. The President witnessed part of the proceedings and laughed.” The problem is, the story was totally false. The first turkey officially delivered to the White House that year was dead on arrival (which makes it a little hard to chase — although relatively easy to catch); a second live turkey was never released from its cage before it was released on a farm in New York state. Roosevelt objected to the story, and the Herald eventually printed a retraction: “It is always with keen regret that the management of the Herald finds that it has been the means of circulating statements which have no foundation in truth.” Fake news can make turkeys out of the best of us, the modern-day Washington Post relates. (And the following photo is fake, too, just in case you were wondering.)
- Keeping to that Thanksgiving theme, apparently everything you think you know about Thanksgiving is false. It wasn’t started in 1621 by the Pilgrims; the first Thanksgiving was actually in Texas, in 1541. There wasn’t turkey on the table, either, just ducks and deer. Who’d of thought it? Here’s the real poop.
- You’ve probably heard that Black Friday got its name because that’s the day of the year most retailers first turn a profit — going from red ink to black. That isn’t true. Nor is it true that the day after Thanksgiving somehow got its name from slaveholders selling their black slaves on that day. Nope, the name apparently originated in 1961 in Philadelphia, when the police there used the term to describe all the traffic and traffic jams caused by post-Thanksgiving shoppers. Snopes did the research.
- This one’s a little odd. Some troll spread a photo of Black Lives Matter protestors holding signs doctored to read “African Americans with Warren.” Elizabeth Warren’s opponents blamed her campaign for the fake photo, but that apparently was the troll’s goal — to spread misinformation and make Warren look bad. Boy, fake news sure can get tricky, sometimes. Read all about it in the Washington Post. (Here’s the doctored photo, followed by the original one.)