Famous headlines are always making news but so are wrong headlines. There are many examples but the most famous in America is still “Dewey Defeats Truman” that was posted on November 3, 1948. Mistakes like this happen because of the rush to be first by the newspapers. The paper that hits the newsstands first with a breaking news report will sell out first, so it is all about money.
Another famous headline was on April 15, 1912 when many newspapers reported that the “Titanic had hit an iceberg but was saved”. There was one newspaper that went with the facts and reported that the Titanic had sunk. This newspaper was the New York Times and they were unfortunately correct.
The type of headline that has been wrong the most are the reports on the death of a famous person. The famous people that were reported dead before they actually were, are Fidel Castro, John Paul II, Yasser Arafat and Joe DiMaggio. All but one is now dead, but the first report of their death was at times years before the actual event happened. Most are just another case of a reporter not checking his sources properly before submitting his article.
The New York Post has one of the top two famous headlines ever printed when they ran the headline of “Headless body in topless bar”, this was on April 15, 1983.
This goes to show that just because it is printed does not make it true but famous headlines that were wrong will always be remembered. In this modern day time with the Internet this sort of thing is likely to happen even more as people Blog, email and tweet current events as they happen, (or not,) and you will have to use care in accepting things at face value.
Historically newspapers did get it right the large majority of the time as there usually were editorial guidelines in place to double and triple check facts and events before they were put to bed and printed. Still it is fun to find the famous headlines that were wrong any way.