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The Boston Strangler

You cannot be serious

MMDE: Texas did not pass a law honoring The Boston Strangler for services to population control

Current: Texas passed a law honoring The Boston Strangler for services to population control

This is a borderline MMDE, but still very surprising - if not shocking - to those who first hear of it.

Why on earth would any state actually pass into law something honouring one of their worst mass murderers? Shockingly, it's true. And for a good reason, even if it's unfortunately a very embarrassing one.

It turns out one legislator was sick of the panel he was on constantly rubberstamping proposals without reading them, so with April 1st coming up he put forward a special one of his own, just to catch them all out. And it worked spectacularly. His proposal was that the Boston Strangler be "officially recognised by the State of Massachusetts for his noted activities and unconventional technique involving population control and applied psychology."  He didn't use the term "Boston Strangler" but his actual name, Albert De Salvo, instead. 

Same old, same old

Things don't seem to have changed much. Crazy patent are approved all the time today, and yes, pranks are still carried out in exactly the same way to highlight the absurdity of some of them, for example the patent of a stick being granted.