7. A Central Park Hoax Terrified New Yorkers

Camels in Central Park Zoo (Image via The Library of Congress)

On November 9th, 1874, the people of NYC were gripped with fear. According to an article in The New York Herald, a former major newspaper which ran from 1835 to 1924, the animals at the Central Park Zoo made a break for it and were rampaging across the city. The Herald wrote that the escaped animals were already responsible for the deaths of 49 New Yorkers, along with 200 injured. The entire story was a complete fabrication. The basis of the story was to bring attention to the Central Park Zoo‘s lack of safety. The story, which ended up being called things like The New York Zoo Hoax, The Central Park Zoo Escape, and the very well-worded Central Park Menagerie Scare of 1874, did say that the story was not real. It seems that readers back then (like some readers today) do not really read the fine print on certain articles and then overreact to them.

Read more about the Central Park Zoo hoax here.