The Onion has quickly become the world's most popular humor publication, misinforming half a million readers a week with one-of-a-kind social satire both in print (on newsstands nationwide) and online from its remote office in Madison, Wisconsin.
Witness the march of history as Editor-in-Chief Scott Dikkers and The Onion's award-winning writing staff present the twentieth century like you've never seen it before.
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About the Author
Started by two University of Wisconsin undergraduates in 1988, The Onion began as an alternative weekly newspaper in Madison, originally meant to parody both USA Today and the nearby Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper. While some believe The Onion got its name from the slang for a "juicy news story," it was actually named when the two founders were short on cash and eating onion sandwiches. Editor-in-Chief Scott Dikkers worked as a cartoonist during The Onion's first year, then with Pete Haise, the current publisher, bought the paper from its founders. "For a long time we were kind of a Weekly World News parody combined with your usual sophomoric college-humor publication," says Dikkers. " In1995 Dikkers shifted the focus of the paper to a straight news parody and found the voice for which The Onion is known today.
In 1996 The Onion made an unprecedented launch into cyberspace, and www.theonion.com soon became one of the nation's most heavily visited Web sites. The newspaper edition is available in bookstores and newsstands nationwide.
The Onion has been called "surprising and sublime" by the New Yorker and "genius" by the Chicago Tribune. Rolling Stone named Scott Dikkers one of the nation's top-ten favorite writers. The Onion was also featured on Entertainment Weekly's 1998 "It" List of the 100 most talented people in the entertainment industry, and Time magazine ranked Dikkers number 43 in their list of the top 50 movers and shakers in the digital realm.
Read an Excerpt
It is with a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment that I look back upon this great Twentieth Century of ours to say that The Onion news-paper was able to document and, to a great extent, shape this wondrous time in human history, as this fine tome demonstrates.
T. Herman Zweibel, Onion Publisher
THE ONION, Monday, April 24, 1995
AL GORE CAUGHT IN LOVE TRYST WITH ENDANGERED TREE OWL
Scandal engulfed the Clinton Administration once again Sunday, when allegations were made public that Vice President Al Gore engaged in an illicit sexual relationship with an endangered tree owl, then urged the winged nocturnal predator to lie about the affair under oath.
According to an anonymous source within the administration, the vice president first met the owl during a meeting with anti-logging activists in Washington State's Olympic National Park, admiring the bird in its tree perch and praising it for its "majestic plumage." Suspicion was aroused when the bird began making repeated visits to Gore's White House office, which is more than 3,000 miles from the owl's Pacific Northwest habitat.
Gore, long known for his strong pro-wildlife stance, denied charges of an inter-species sexual liaison, insisting that his relationship with the woodland creature was "purely environmentalist in nature."
Experts on bird mating, however, say the owl's extensive molting and twig-gathering behavior, as well as its alleged lining of a nest with clumps of grass and feathers, suggest that the bird was sexually active during the weeks it spent with the vice president.
In addition, an unnamed Secret Service agent claimed that Gore ordered him to dispose of several fecal pellets found in the White House. He said the pellets contained the bones of small rodents.
A federal grand jury will convene Friday to determine whether the owl will be charged with perjury for an April 17 deposition in which ornithologists recorded the bird emitting a complex series of hoots denying the affair. Gore, if found guilty of encouraging the endangered owl to lie under oath, could face congressional censure on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and owl-fucking.
THE ONION, Friday, November 22, 1963
KENNEDY SLAIN BY CIA, MAFIA, CASTRO, LBJ, TEAMSTERS, FREEMASONS
President Shot 129 Times from 43 Different Angles
President Kennedy was assassinated Friday by operatives of the CIA, the Giancana crime syndicate, Fidel Castro, Vice President Johnson, the Freemasons and the Teamsters as he rode through downtown Dallas in a motorcade.
According to eyewitnesses, Kennedy's limousine had just entered Dealey Plaza when the president was struck 129 times in the head, chest, abdomen, arms, legs, hands, feet, back and face by gunfire. The shooting began at 12:30 p.m. and lasted until 12:43 p.m. CST.
In all, 43 suspects have been taken into the custody of the Dallas police.
Preliminary reports indicate that hitmen for the Giancana crime syndicate fired from a nearby grassy knoll, CIA agents fired from an office building slightly off the parade route, Cuban nationals fired from an overpass overlooking Dealey Plaza, an elite hit squad working for Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa fired from perches atop an oak tree, a 'lone nut' fired from the Texas Book depository, a shadow-government sharp-shooting team fired from behind a wooden fence, a consortium of jealous husbands fired from an estimated 13 sites on the sidewalk along the route, a hitman working for Johnson fired from a sewer grate over which the limousine passed, and Texas Gov. John Connally lunged at the president from within the limousine itself, slitting the president's throat with a combat knife.
The mortally wounded president was sped to nearby Parland Hospital, where doctors with ties to Johnson's inner circle performed a staged autopsy. They pronounced him dead at 2:18 p.m. CST.
The body was then chemically treated by J. Edgar Hoover and put in a decoy casket for transport to Roswell, New Mexico. There, space aliens using medical technology beyond the knowledge of man sealed Kennedy's 129 wounds. Kennedy's corpse was then reanimated and rushed to Germany for an emergency meeting with the frozen brain of Adolf Hitler.
After the meeting, Kennedy aides announced plans for the two leaders' sperm cells to be atomically sustained, planted in the womb of aspiring actress Judith Campbell, and grown into a super-race of 21st-century conquerors.
According to investigators, the assassination appears to have been carefully planned and carried out in strict accordance with both the Skull-and-Bones Blood Rite and Masonic "Killing of the King" rituals.
Officers found several hundred weapons within a four-block radius of the shooting site, including telescope-sighted Weatherby Magnum rifles, Italian bolt-action 6.5mm carbines, Thompson submachine guns, Russian Kalishnikov assault rifles, and one ray-gun.
The assembled killers were taken into police custody at Dallas City Hall. As they were being transferred to the county prison however, all 43 were shot and killed by Jack Ruby, 52, a Dallas-area nightclub owner.
THE ONION, Tuesday, April 20, 1943
TOP U.S. NAVAL INTELLIGENCE REPORTS, 'THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A DAME'
'No Book's Like a Dame, Nothing Looks Like a Dame,' Says South Pacific Command
Cable report from the Pacific Theater
According to U.S. Intelligence officers stationed in the South Pacific, there is not anything like a dame.
Details of the report indicate that there is nothing like a dame in the known world.
"Lots of things in life are beautiful, but brother," read the secretly coded message that arrived on President Roosevelt's desk in Washington at 7 a.m. EST Sunday, "there is one particular thing that is nothing whatsoever in any way, shape, or form like any other."
"There is nothing like a dame," the message repeated.
While most details of the report remain classified for fear of providing the hated German enemy with any advantage the following information has been cleared by the War Department for release.
There are no books like a dame; nothing looks like a dame; there are no drinks like a dame; nothing thinks like a dame.
This new dame-related intelligence is expected to greatly improve the health of injured American solders. "Thousands of our boys are badly wounded every day by Japs and Jerrys," said Army doctor Martin Purcell, speaking from a makeshift hospital on a tiny, coconut-covered Pacific island. "But as we now know, there ain't a thing that's wrong with any man here that can't be cured by putting him near a girly, womanly, female, feminine dame."
A full version of Monday's report will be printed, set to music, and performed around the country.
THE ONION, Monday, January 1, 1900
News From Rome
VATICAN CONDEMNS 'RHYTHM METHOD.'
Pontiff Excoriates Infidels for Fiendish 'Sin by the Calendar.'
Releases Papal Edict Outlining Forbidden Family Practices.
Italians in Attendance Vow to People the Earth.
VATICAN CITY, DEC 31
In a proclamation rife with the righteous anger befitting a clergyman of his most exalted station, His Holiness the Pope, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Leader of all Christians of the World, lashed out at those with the effrontery to use the calendar to defeat God's purpose of peopling the globe.
"This prideful 'rhythm method' is a blasphemy before God," Leo XIII declared to a crowd of as yet non-American-emigrant Italians at St. Peter's Basilica. "Those who would count the days He created against the ripeness of their good wives are indulging in the darkest brand of sorcery."
The reactions of lay civilization have been varied, as most prominent Americans are expected to seek the counsel of their bishops and priests for clarification of the edict.
The denounced "rhythm method," according to physician Hobart McGreely of Pittsburgh, is "the way by which a lady, having an intuitive grasp still elusive to medicinal science of the ebb and flow of nature, can divine when she is most conducive to the conception of young, and may choose to refrain from the painful process of copulation, in essence avoiding her dutiful role as a mother."
"Childbearing women have a responsibility to the Lord on High," added noted Chicago priest Father Willard Portkin. "In this advanced age of modern medicine, most mothers need only give birth to two or three still-born children before enjoying the fruits of living progeny. And now-a-days many of the gentler sex are enjoying full recuperation and survival of the birthing miracle. There is therefore no excuse for women-vessels to engage in trickery of God's plan for their fertility."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A brilliant parody of 100 years of newspaper publishing.
The idea of creating onion articles about every major event (and non-event) of the 20th century obviously inspired the writers to write the best of this series.
Brilliant satire from the Onion. They manage to skewer the folly of those who let themselves be led too easily by the news, those who become too packaged and processed.
One of the greatest things the mind of man has ever committed to print, Our Dumb Century mercilessly and precisely lampoons the 20th Century in all its self-absorbed, futuristic glory. It is endlessly tongue-in-cheek and infinitely witty, while being crafted from the perspective of very legitimate social history. I've been reading and re-reading this thing since its release a baker's dozen years ago. The copy I just purchased is the fourth copy I've owned, as the others have worn out or been loaned out, and I don't mind a bit.
This book is everthing you think it is going to be. Dealing with topics from the 18th throught 21st centuries it will make you laugh out loud.
I was in my history class browsing the book section when I came accross this book, 'Our Dumb Century', then I began reading it and laughing out loud, soon many of my fellow classmates were all surrounding me as I read headlines out loud, we were ALL laughing. This is a great book for history buffs with a sense of humor!!
If you are into American History with a humorous touch, then you definitely need to add this book to your collection!!!....Very clever writing!!!....
As I went to my local Barnes and Noble store, I was interested in finding a good book in the humor section. This one immediately caught my eye. 'Our Dumb Century: 100 Years of Headlines from America's Finest News Source' was one of the most hysterical books that I have ever read. It has headlines relating to actual events, and is a book not to miss. I would highly recommend this book.
I was on vacation with a few friends when I happened across this book in a **real** (brick and mortar) bookstore, and soon found myself laughing out loud, and rushing over to share the headlines with just about anyone who would listen. A decidedly cynical, but extremely funny, look at the 'American' Century, and the ultimate bathroom book for the beginning of the 21st century.