In 2002, actor James Earl Jones was going to be honored with a special plaque at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Lauderhill, Florida. The plaque-making job went to a Texas-based firm called Merit Industries -- a name you should note, because it's about to become painfully ironic.
The design specifications sent to Merit Industries featured photos of several influential African Americans alongside the text: "Thank you, James Earl Jones, for keeping the dream alive." Unfortunately, the final product had a bit of a typo ...
via Jet Magazine
"I have a nightmare!" -- Merit Industries PR Department
We're not sure how your fingers slip badly enough to enter "James Earl Jones" as "James Earl Ray." Perhaps Merit Industries generously employs the lobster-handed. Surely, it's a total coincidence that the man who killed Martin Luther King Jr. was also named James Earl Ray.
If you think we're just being snarky with this whole typo business -- because it clearly could not possibly be an actual typo -- think again! That's Merit Industries' official story: Vice President Herbert Miller says it was a spelling error made by an employee "who [doesn't even] speak English." You know how it is -- you hire a bunch of these minority types, and they go off accidentally changing a name in the one and only specific way that could honor a civil rights icon's murderer instead of the voice of Darth Vader. Happens all the time.
Jeff Silvers really hopes Hamburger Helper doesn't tweet about him when he's dead. Check out his blog at jeffsilvers.com.
For more questionable tributes, check out 8 Statues Of Famous People (That Look Absolutely Insane) and The 9 Most Baffling Monuments To Great People.
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