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AprilYou’re already probably aware that Easter and April Fools’ Day are the same day this year. Either we’re all going to be having a ton of fun on April 1st , or family feuds will be erupting left and right. I told my parents that they should offer to host Easter brunch at their house only to have everyone show up to find out there is no Easter brunch. Mom thought that was a little too cruel.

So, if you’re looking for a little April Fools’ Day inspiration, or would like to learn more about it, this is for you!

April Fools’ Trivia

History

Some historians believe that the holiday began in France, stemming from their calendar change in the 16th century when they moved New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1. Those who continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st were dubbed “April fools” and others played tricks on them.

Worldwide

In France, April 1st is called “Poisson d’Avril,” the phrase that is shouted by the prankster after pulling off a successful joke.

In Scotland, April Fools’ lasts two days.

And in England and Canada, pranks are only played during the morning on April 1st.

Great Pranks

1957

The BBC runs a hoax segment about spaghetti trees in Switzerland with footage of Swiss peasants allegedly harvesting limp spaghetti strands from trees.

1977

Scott Hanson places an exploding wood chip, purchased at Burt Easley’s Fun Shop and known as a cigarette load, in the end of his dad’s cigarette.  The load, which has as much pop as a cap used in a toy cap-gun, pops as Dick Hanson lights up while talking face-to-face with one of his customers. It obviously makes both of them jump!   Due to the severity of the punishment, the prank was never played again.

1981

The Herald-News in Roscommon, Mich. reports that the federal government would release 2,000 sharks into three Michigan lakes to study their breeding habits in fresh water. The article states, “We can’t be responsible for people if they are attacked. Besides, anyone foolish enough to believe this deserves to be eaten.”

1986 – Present

Press releases for the non-existent New York City April Fools’ Day Parade have been issued every year since 1986.

1994

PC Magazine runs a column about a bill making its way through Congress that would prohibit the use of Internet while intoxicated. The contact person listed was Lirpa Sloof (take a close look at her name).

1996

Taco Bel Corp. runs a full-page ad in several major newspapers claiming it has purchased the Liberty Bell and is renaming it the “Taco Liberty Bell.”

1998

Lawmakers in Alabama allegedly pass a law that redefines Pi from 3.14159… to simply 3.

1998

Burger King takes out full-page ad in USA Today claiming they were to release a “Left-Handed Whopper.” Exactly like a regular Whopper, this new Whopper would be rotated 180 degrees to accommodate left-handers unique gustatory needs.

2004

Belief.net runs an article announcing that Oprah Winfrey has been added as the fourth person of the Holy Trinity.

NPR especially has a rich history in creating fake stories on April Fools’ Day. Take a look at their favorites.

Whether you plan on indulging in your own April Fools’ jokes on your own or think this holiday is foolish, we hope you have a great weekend and an even better April!

Breanne Krager
Breanne Krager
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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