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America turns 'Hollyweed': A message by stoners, for stoners

  • Back in 1976, the Hollywood sign was famously altered to 'Hollyweed'
  • The prank has been repeated, apparently in honour of California's new weed laws. 
  • The identity of the prankster this time remains a mystery 
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Some pranks, as it turns out, as too good to remain merely in the history books. The giant 'Hollywood' sign which graces the Santa Monica hillside in Los Angeles, United States, is an iconic symbol of the American film industry and in many ways, America itself. 

However, amusingly, the iconic stature of the sign has not prevented it from being vandalised now and then, though those who do it, usually take care not damage the actual sign. 

The most famous of these pranks was back in 1976, when Daniel Finegood, a student, altered the sign to look like 'Hollyweed'. He claimed that the change was art, and intended to send a message. Stoners across America rejoiced, acknowledging the happy message.

Finegood would end up changing the sign several times over the decades - to read stuff like 'Holywood' and 'Ollywood', though what messages those were supposed to send out is...unclear. 

Someone seems to have taken great inspiration from Finegood, since his famous prank was repeated on New Year's Eve, and once more the proud sign announced to all and sundry - 'Hollyweed'. Although this time, the 'message' is a bit stronger since California recently legalised the sale of marijuana. 

The method is the same as the last time. Using black and white cloth tied strategically, the two 'O' in the sign are made to look like 'E', making the sign look altered from a distance. Like last time, no actual damage was caused to the sign itself. Unlike last time, however, the prankster's identity this time around remains a mystery. 

The Hollywood Sign Trust, a non-profit that looks after the sign, restored the sign the next day and promised 'even more' security around the sign. 

But as far as America is concerned, the message was heard loud and clear - smoke on, dude! 

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