Andy Warhol was wrong. Fame doesn’t last just fifteen minutes. After all, Harold Camping is still in the news, more than a week after his prophecy that the world would end on May 21 at 6:00 p.m. turned out — as expected — to be false.
Camping’s end-of-the-world prophecy and the related publicity circus gained international attention. It was virtually inevitable that his claims would become a matter of global interest, followed by international derision. After all, Camping had claimed to have discovered a secret code within the Bible that allowed him to predict the precise day that Christ would appear and judgment would begin. As he told the press, he was certain that the end of the world was “absolutely going to happen without any question at all.”
In anticipation of May 21, Camping and his followers purchased thousands of billboard advertisements and sent the message across America painted on recreational vehicles. Some of his followers emptied their bank accounts and gave away their possessions, expecting no longer to need them.