After learning his studio was in the flight path of the local airport, Mark Gubin could have complained about it. Instead he used the situation to pull an epic prank.
The Milwaukee artist first noticed the overhead air traffic while having lunch on the roof of his studio in 1978. His assistant suggested he paint a welcome sign, though the 6-foot-tall “Welcome to Cleveland” message he decided to go with probably wasn’t what she had in mind. The misleading greeting has been confusing passengers flying into Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport ever since. "It was all tongue-in-cheek, just for fun,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Living in the world is not a dress rehearsal. You better have fun with it."
When it first appeared, the sign made national news and was even mentioned on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He eventually received a letter from then-City Council President Ben E. Johnson alerting him to all the commotion he was causing with the stunt. Despite this, no serious action was taken by either the city or airline officials. Gubin decided to leave the message up and even went out of his way to retouch it whenever he had a can of paint on hand. Travelers flying into Milwaukee can still spot the cheeky message to this day.
[h/t Lost at E Minor]