A cleverly crafted and well-executed April Fools' hoax can live on in history as a well-regarded bit of performance art.

Such was the case after the Madison Capital-Times in 1933 convinced many readers that the state Capitol collapsed amid explosions due to "large quantities of gas" generated by verbose politicians.

In 1996, people were outraged when fast-food chain Taco Bell took out newspaper ads to announce it had bought the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell.

Even stodgy National Public Radio has joined the fun. A 1994 NPR story claimed teenagers were eagerly accepting offers to tattoo their ears with corporate logos (KFC, the GAP) to get a lifetime 10 percent discount.

So be on guard today for the next great prank, and enjoy these -- five of the finest April 1 hoaxes ever ........