Compiled by Sharon Penny
19Newspapers published in El Dorado County prior to 1858. The Mountain Democrat is the sole surviving paper from that time period. The longest running of the also-rans lasted approximately two years; the shortest-running, The Placerville Appeal, lasted a brief six weeks.
30Years between the announcement of Placerville’s proposed rail connection to Folsom in 1858, and the arrival of the first passenger train on April 9, 1888. Financial and political wrangling were the primary reasons for the delay. Amongst other events, a lawsuit against the City of Placerville in 1873 led to the Placerville City Council resigning completely.
$50,000Amount donated by Taco Bell toward the upkeep of the Liberty Bell. It was a mea culpa for their 1996 April Fools’ Day hoax, a full page that ran in six newspapers announcing their purchase of the Liberty Bell, aka “Taco Liberty Bell.” Critics found the prank to be in, um, poor taste.
15.5 FeetLength of the “carcass” of the Loch Ness Monster “found” by a team of zoologists in 1972, as reported excitedly by newspapers around the world. Alas, it was an April Fools’ Day hoax. The carcass belonged to a seal that had been frozen for a week, whiskers shaved and cheeks stuffed with stones before being dumped in the Loch.
168 MPHThe incredible fastball speed of 28-year-old New York Mets pitching prospect Sidd Finch, according to a 1995 Sports Illustrated feature by legendary sports writer George Plimpton. After letters poured into the editorial office, the feature (and the follow-up press conference that announced Finch had lost his throwing ability) were revealed to be an elaborate hoax.