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April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day is a day celebrated in many countries on April 1. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, enemies, and neighbors, or sending them on a fool's errand, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. Traditionally, in some countries, such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa the jokes only last until noon, and someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool". Elsewhere, such as in Ireland, Russia, France, the Netherlandsmarker, Canada, and the U.S., the jokes last all day.

Origins



The origin of April Fools' Day is obscure. One likely theory is that the modern holiday was first celebrated soon after the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar; the term referred to someone still adhering to the Julian Calendar, which it replaced. In many pre-Christian cultures May Day (May 1) was celebrated as the first day of summer, and signalled the start of the spring planting season. An April Fool may have been someone who did this prematurely. Another possible origin lies in the fact that when King Charles IX of France officially changed the first day of the year from April 1 to January 1, some of his subjects continued using the old system.

In the eighteenth century the festival was often posited as going back to the time of Noah. According to an English newspaper article published April 13, 1789, the day had its origin when Noah sent his dove off too early, before the waters had receded; he did this on the first day of the Hebrew month that corresponds with April.

A possible reference to April Fools' Day can be seen in the Canterbury Tales (ca 1400) in the Nun's Priest's tale, a tale of two fools (Chanticleer and the fox), which took place on March 32.

Well-known pranks

  • Alabama Changes the Value of Pi: The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article written by physicist Mark Boslough claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
  • Spaghetti trees: The BBC television programme Panorama ran a famous hoax in 1957, showing Italians harvesting spaghetti from trees. They had claimed that the despised pest, the spaghetti weevil, had been eradicated. A large number of people contacted the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees. It was, in fact, filmed in St Albansmarker.
  • Left Handed Whoppers: In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side. Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the "old", right-handed burger.
  • Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bellmarker to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White Housemarker press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorialmarker had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
  • San Serriffe: The Guardian printed a supplement in 1977 praising this fictional resort, its two main islands (Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse), its capital (Bodoni), and its leader (General Pica). Intrigued readers were later disappointed to learn that San Serriffe (sans serif) did not exist except as references to typeface terminology. (This comes from a Jorge Luis Borges story.)
  • DT Day: In 2008 fliers were handed on Brigham Young University campus, saying that the last in a series of dorm buildings being torn down was scheduled to be imploded on April 1. Hundreds of people eagerly turned up to see the implosion, but to their consternation it never happened. The culprits of this prank remain unknown.
  • Metric time: Repeated several times in various countries, this hoax involves claiming that the time system will be changed to one in which units of time are based on powers of 10.
  • Smell-o-vision: In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial's success. In 2007, the BBC website repeated an online version of the hoax.
  • Tower of Pisamarker: The Dutchmarker television news reported in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over. Many shocked people contacted the station.
  • Write Only Memory: Signetics advertised Write Only Memory IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s.
  • The Canadian news site bourque.org announced in 2002 that Finance Minister Paul Martin had resigned "in order to breed prize Charolais cattle and handsome Fawn Runner ducks."
  • Annual BMW Innovations see a new "cutting-edge invention" by BMW advertised across British newspapers every year, examples including:
    • Warning against counterfeit BMWs: the blue and white parts of the logo were reversed
    • The "Toot and Calm Horn" (after Tutankhamun), which calms rather than aggravates other drivers, so reducing the risk of road rage,
    • MINI cars being used in upcoming space missions to Mars,
    • Zoom Impression Pixels ("ZIP") to counter new "Slow Cameras" (2000),
    • SHEF ("Satellite Hypersensitive Electromagnetic Foodration") Technology, which sees the car's GPS systems synchronise with home appliances to perfectly cook a meal for the instant you return home (2001),
    • Marque-Wiper - mini-wipers for each exterior "BMW" logo coming as standard on all future models (2002),
    • Tyre Pressure Control - adjust the pressure on the tyres without slowing down (2003),
    • IDS ("Insect Deflector Screen") Technology - using elastic solutions to bounce insects off the windscreen as you drive (2004),
    • Midnight in the City - An offer for a 15ft x 5ft ceramic "statuette" (sic) by "legendary Prussian ceramist, Loof Lirpa" (2005),
    • "Uninventing the wheel" to counter the "EU ban" on right-hand drive cars (2006),
    • "BMW Instant Messaging" - using Reactive User Sound Electronic (RUSE) particles to display the driver's words to the car in front on the windscreen (2007),
    • Canine Repellent Alloy Protection (CRAP)- a means of discouraging dogs from urinating on car wheels. (2008)
    • BMW Magnetic Tow Technology (MTT) - 'This ingenious new system locks onto the car in front via an enhanced magnetic beam. Once your BMW is attached, you are free to release your foot from the accelerator and turn off your engine. The vehicle in front will then 'do the pulling' without noticing any change in manoeuverability. When turning off MTT, we suggest a curteous flick of the headlights to let the obliging driver in front know you are leaving them. It is important to note that MTT does not work without another vehicle. Please email Uve.Vollenvorit@bmw.co.uk (you've fallen for it)' (2009)
    • A compact disc available to all BMW owners, which when played over the audio system performed minor service and diagnostic checks; when flipped over it played soothing classical music (Australia).


By radio stations

  • BBC Radio 4 (2005): The Today Programme announced in the news that the long-running serial The Archers had changed their theme tune to an upbeat disco style.
  • Death of a mayor: In 1998, local WAAFmarker shock jocks Opie and Anthony reported that Bostonmarker mayor Thomas Menino had been killed in a car accident. Menino happened to be on a flight at the time, lending credence to the prank as he could not be reached. The rumor spread quickly across the city, eventually causing news stations to issue alerts denying the hoax. The pair were fired shortly thereafter.
  • Phone call: In 1998, UK presenter Nic Tuff of West Midlands radio station Kix 96 pretended to be the British Prime Minister Tony Blair when he called the then South African President Nelson Mandela for a chat. It was only at the end of the call when Nic asked Nelson what he was doing for April Fools' Day that the line went dead.
  • Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect: In 1976, British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore told listeners of BBC Radio 2 that unique alignment of two planets would result in an upward gravitational pull making people lighter at precisely 9:47 a.m. that day. He invited his audience to jump in the air and experience "a strange floating sensation." Dozens of listeners phoned in to say the experiment had worked.
  • "National Public Radio" Every year National Public Radio in the United States does an extensive news story on April 1. These usually start off more or less reasonably, and get more and more unusual. A recent example is the story on the "iBod" a portable body control device. In 2008 it reported that the IRS, to assure rebate checks were actually spent, was shipping consumer products instead of checks. It also runs false sponsor mentions, such as "Support for NPR comes from the Soylent Corporation, manufacturing protein-rich food products in a variety of colors. Soylent Green is People.”
  • Three-dollar coin: In 2008, CBC Radio program As It Happens interviewed a Royal Canadian Mint spokesman who broke "news" of plans to replace the Canadian five-dollar bill with a three-dollar coin. The coin was dubbed a "threenie", in line with the nicknames of the country's one-dollar coin (commonly called a "loonie" due to its depiction of a common loon on the reverse) and two-dollar coin ("toonie").
  • U2 Live on Rooftop in Cork: In 2009 hundreds of U2 fans were duped in an elaborate prank when they rushed to a shopping centre in Blackrock in Corkmarker believing that the band were playing a surprise rooftop concert. The prank was organised by Cork radio station RedFM. The band were in fact just a tribute band called U2opia.
  • Country to Metal: Country and gospel WIXE in Monroe, North Carolinamarker does a prank every year. In 2009, midday host Bob Rogers announced he was changing his show to heavy metal. This resulted in numerous phone calls, but about half were from listeners wanting to request a song.


By television stations

  • In 1962 the Swedish national television did a 5-minute special on how one could get color TV by placing a nylon stocking in front of the TV. A rather in-depth description on the physics behind the phenomena was included.
  • After over fifty years, the 1957 BBC report of the purported bumper annual spaghetti harvest (see Spaghetti trees above) remains one of the most successful TV hoaxes of all time.
  • In 1980, the BBC reported a proposed change to the famous clock tower known as Big Benmarker. The reporters stated that the clock would go digital.
  • The Trouble with Tracy: In 2003, The Comedy Network in Canada announced that it would produce and air a remake of the 1970s Canadian sitcom The Trouble with Tracy. The original series is widely considered to be one of the worst sitcoms ever produced. Several media outlets fell for the hoax.
  • In 2004, British breakfast show GMTV produced a story claiming that Yorkshire Water were trialing a new 'diet tap water' that had already helped one customer lose a stone and a half in four months. After heralding the trial as successful, it was claimed that a third tap would be added to kitchen sinks, allowing customers easy access to the water. Following the story, Yorkshire Water received 10,000 enquiries from viewers.
  • In 2006, the BBC reported that the door to No. 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had been painted red. They showed footage of workmen carrying a red door. Red was the official colour of the political party which formed the government at the time. The same story was also reported in the British newspaper, The Daily Mail which credited the new design to April Fewell. The door is in fact black.
  • In 2008, the BBC reported on a newly discovered colony of flying penguins. An elaborate video segment was even produced, featuring Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) walking with the penguins in Antarctica, and following their flight to the Amazon rainforest.
  • On Comedy Central, the creators of South Park aired a fake episode of Terrance and Phillip titled "Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus" instead of running the season premiere which was supposed to reveal the father of Eric Cartman. This caused angered fans to write about 2,000 complaints to Comedy Central in the week following the broadcast. The incident was parodied in the Season 13 episode Eat, Pray, Queef, the first episode to broadcast on April Fool's day since the incident.


By magazines, newspapers, and books

  • George Plimpton wrote a 1985 article in Sports Illustrated about a New York Mets prospect named Sidd Finch, who could throw a fastball with pinpoint accuracy. This kid, known as "Barefoot" Sidd[hartha] Finch, reportedly learned to pitch in a Buddhist monastery. The first letter of each word in the article subhead spelled out the fact of its being an April Fool joke.
  • Lies to Get You Out of the House: In 1985, the L.A. Weekly printed an entire page of fake things to do on April Fools' Day, by which hundreds of people were fooled.
  • Comic strip switcheroo: Cartoonists of popularly syndicated comic strips draw each others' strips. In some cases, the artist draws characters in the other strip's milieu, while in others, the artist draws in characters from other visiting characters from his own. Cartoonists have done this sort of "switcheroo" for several years. The 1997 switch was particularly widespread.
  • Coldplay to back the Tories - On April 1 2006 the UK Guardian journalist "Olaf Priol" claimed that Chris Martin of rock band Coldplay had decided to publicly support the UK Conservative Party leader David Cameron due to his disillusionment with previous Labour Party prime minister Tony Blair, even going so far as to produce a fake song, "Talk to David", that could be downloaded via the Guardian website. Despite being an obvious hoax, the Labour Party's Media Monitoring Unit were concerned enough to circulate the story throughout "most of the government".
  • President Barack Obama pulls fundings for NASCAR - On April 1, 2009, on the heels of the auto industry bailout, Car and Driver claimed on their website that President Barack Obama had ordered Chevrolet and Dodge to pull NASCAR funding. The article was removed from the website and replaced with an apology to readers, after upset NASCAR fans protested on the Car and Driver website. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter notably fell for the joke.
  • The Guardian to publish to Twitter: On April 1 2009 The Guardian announced that it would be the first newspaper to publish exclusively on Twitter.
  • LamePro - Videogame magazine GamePro once featured a gag section entitled "LamePro" in its April issues, featuring joke videogaming articles and reviews. The practice was abandoned after a magazine redesign in 2007.


By game shows

  • As part of an April Fools' joke on April 1, 1997, Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak switched hosting duties. Sajak hosted Jeopardy! that day (which featured several Wheel-inspired categories) and Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune where Sajak and Vanna White played as contestants. Jeopardy! announcer Johnny Gilbert did double duties that day while regular Wheel of Fortune announcer Charlie O'Donnell announced some parts including the opening with Gilbert as well as telling Sajak and White that they won $25,000. A puzzle during the episode also featured Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as an answer. Sajak's performance on Jeopardy! as host was widely praised by fans.
  • On April 1, 2003, Game Show Network played a prank by having hosts from their own shows guest host on other hosts' shows similar to 1997 when Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy! and Alex Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune. Graham Elwood from Cram guest hosted Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck regularly hosted by Todd Newton. Mark Walberg from Russian Roulette guest hosted on Friend or Foe? regularly hosted by Kennedy. Newton from Whammy! guest hosted Russian Roulette reguarly hosted by Walberg. Kennedy from Friend or Foe? guest hosted WinTuition regularly hosted by Marc Summers. Summers from WinTuition guest hosted Cram regularly hosted by Elwood. The only show that didn't have a guest host was Lingo hosted by Chuck Woolery. Woolery still hosted while the other hosts, Walberg and Summers on the yellow team, and Kennedy and Elwood on the red team, played against each other for charity. Newton was the announcer that day.
  • On April 1, 2008, Jeopardy! played another joke by having Alex Trebek appear with a false mustache, a reference to the minor controversy that followed when he shaved his off in 2001. The fake was gone by the Double Jeopardy round. Also, Wheel of Fortune played another joke by having Pat Sajak reveal that he is bald by taking off his toupee. Like the mustache on Jeopardy!, the toupee was fake as Sajak actually has real hair.
  • The Price Is Right has often celebrated the day by featuring Showcase with assortments of gags, which have often included joke prizes (such as cheap items or trips to fictitious locations), or gags involving their presentation (such as most of the prizes being broken throughout the course of the skit). In most cases, once the contestant learned that it was an April Fools' joke, the real Showcase would consist of extravagant prizes, such as luxury and sports cars. The practice is best known from the 1980s, but was revived in the Drew Carey era in 2008.
    • The 2009 April Fools' Day show spread unusual occurrences throughout the entire episode, including the contestants and crew wearing Groucho glasses, the opening containing assorted errors, gags involving the presentation of prizes offered (such as a car being displayed with an abundance of parking tickets), a game of Most Expensive featuring three different clocks from the same manufacturer, the Showcase Showdown's wheel played different sound effects, and music from Match Game played as think music and as the ending theme. The two Showcases did not contain "joke" prizes, but gags still occurred, such as a stove displayed with flaming pots, a trip to the Meditteranean portrayed with irrelevant footage, and all the prizes in the entire second Showcase being presented from their back sides. Kathy Kinney, in character as Carey's nemesis Mimi Bobeck from The Drew Carey Show, also made an appearance as a model throughout the show.
  • In 2003, Hollywood Squares producers played an April Fools joke on host Tom Bergeron and the stars by booking two of the most difficult contestants ever. The contestants were in fact actors similar to what happened in 1987 to John Davidson. Another moment happened on the Davidson version in 1988 when center square Joan Rivers swapped places with Davidson to be host that day.
  • In 1991, the short-lived syndicated game show The Challengers played a prank on host Dick Clark and the three contestants, champion Kurt Weldon and challengers Mike Dwight and Meredith Kornfeld by showing six joke categories on the board for round one, Pre-Columbian Architecture, The Politics of Burundi, Quantum Physics, 14th Century Philosophers, Anaerobic Zoology, and Existential Poets. Dwight, who was leading at the end of the Sprint Round, picked Pre-Columbian Architecture and Clark asked what was going on and the board showed a huge APRIL FOOL! message causing Clark, the contestants, and the audience to laugh. Weldon admitted that he would have "cleaned up on Burundi". Clark asked judge Gary Johnson if it was his idea. Johnson said that it was appropriate for the day although he agreed with Weldon that he wanted to see about Burundi. Clark told Johnson to "go to his room" just before they showed the real categories for round one.


By websites

  • Kremvax: In 1984, in one of the earliest on-line hoaxes, a message was circulated that Usenet had been opened to users in the Soviet Unionmarker.
  • April Fools' Day RFC
  • Google's hoaxes
  • Neopets: The popular site Neopets runs regular hoaxes, year after year. These can be anything from changes in site design to announcements of free prizes. In fact, when new designs for the Neopets pets were released, several users complained and demanded to know if it was a "late April Fool's joke." It wasn't.
  • Dead fairy hoax: In 2007, an illusion designer for magicians posted on his website some images illustrating the corpse of an unknown eight-inch creation, which was claimed to be the mummified remains of a fairy. He later sold the fairy on eBay for £280.
  • NationStates runs an annual hoax on April 1. In 2004, the hoax was that there was a population bug and all nations' populations would be reset to 5 million people. In 2005, there was a message (supposedly from the Department of Homeworld Security) that NationStates was illegal by US law. In 2006, NationDates was created. It used a quiz similar to the one taken at the sign-up page, and matched that nation with a random country in the same region. In 2007, many users received "Regional moderator" icons with the promise that they would be able to "wield their awesome power" over other users. For April Fools' Day 2008, NationStates has created a new "World Assembly" in the place of the United Nations, as they had received a cease and desist notice from the United Nations for using its name without consent. This was later revealed to be a non-hoax, and that the inspiration to use it as an April Fools joke came from the assumption it was too unbelievable
  • Water on Mars: In 2005 a news story was posted on the official NASAmarker website purporting to have pictures of water on Mars. The picture actually was just a picture of a glass of water on a Mars Candy Bar.
  • Microsoft Research Reclaims Value of Pi: In 2008, an executive with the Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments posted on his personal blog an updated spoof of the 1998 April Fools hoax claiming Alabama's state legislature had rounded the value of pi to the "Biblical value of 3." The 2008 hoax claimed that Microsoft Research had determined the true-up value of pi to be a definitive 3.141999, or as expressed in company literature, "Three easy payments of 1.047333."
  • Assassination of Bill Gates: In 2003, many Chinese and South Korean websites claimed that CNN reported Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was assassinated, resulting in a 1.5% drop in the South Korean stock market. (However, CNN is banned in the People's Republic of Chinamarker.)
  • SARS Infects Hong Kong: In 2003 during the time when Hong Kong was seriously hit by SARS, it was rumored that many people in Hong Kong had become infected with SARS and become uncontrolled, that all immigration ports would be closed to quarantine the region, and that Tung Chee Hwa, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong at that time, had resigned. Hong Kong supermarkets were immediately overwhelmed by panicked shoppers. The Hong Kong government held a press conference to deny the rumor. The rumor, which was intended as an April Fools' prank, was started by a student by imitating the design of Ming Pao newspaper website. He was charged for this incident.
  • www.howstuffworks.com does an annual bogus article. In 2006, it was "How Animated Tattoos Work"; in 2007 "How Phone Cell Implants Work"; in 2008 "How the Air Force One Hybrid Works"; in 2009, "How Rechargeable Gum Works".
  • Motoshi Sakriboto: In 2007, the Square Enix fansite Square Haven reported that game music composers Motoi Sakuraba and Hitoshi Sakimoto had announced a merger. The resulting amalgamated life form was named Motoshi Sakriboto. The hoax played off the fact that when rival role-playing game developers SquareSoft and Enix merged on April 1, 2003, many believed the news to be an April Fools' joke.
  • In 2008, Australian video gaming website company MyMedia, released information and previews on MyMedia: The Movie, the supposed upcoming movie was to be animated and produced by the Australian Film Commission, it was confirmed fake a few days after. The movie was supposedly based on a comic series created by one of the site's editorial staff, Matt Kelly. This has since become an on going website gag about over hyping the non-existent movie through various additional trailers.
  • ScoringSessions.com announced that composer John Williams was replaced by Danny Elfman on the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - and provided photos from the scoring sessions.
  • RISKS Digest often publishes a special April 1 issue.
  • ThinkGeek sends an e-newsletter containing mostly false products each year. Several of these products, such as the 8-Bit tie, were eventually realized due to customer demand.
  • IGN, a video game website, released a realistic-looking Legend of Zelda movie trailer on April Fool's Day 2007. Many people were excited and tricked into believing that a real Legend of Zelda movie was coming out, but IGN revealed that it was a fake. Later rumors were spread that a real Legend of Zelda film is going to be made.
  • YouTube - In 2008, All featured videos on YouTube's front page hyperlinked to the Rickroll. The prank began with international YouTube portals before appearing on the main site. In 2009 the videos, links and most text (using Unicode substitution) were turned upside down and there was also a link to help users view the new site layout with hints such as hanging the monitor upside-down or moving to Australia.
  • Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki has pulled numerous April Fools pranks. In 2007, Wookieepedia's name was changed to "Katarnipedia" after Star Wars character Kyle Katarn. In 2008, they changed all the text of their main page to the Aurebesh language, and directed vistitors to Wookieepedia's sister site Darthipedia (which was actually the Star Wars Humor Wiki) to see English language versions of Wookieepedia articles. In 2009, Wookieepedia announced that they would no longer accept expanded universe material as canon and that the site would only accept information from the Star Wars films, rejecting their long-held policy of treating expanded universe material as equal to film material.
  • gonullyourself.org appeared to be "infected" by Conficker on 1st April 2009.
  • Expedia ran a prank on 1st April 2009, offering flights to Mars. This was internally known as Project Dawnstar.
  • On April 1, 2009 ThinkGeek.com "introduced" the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this faux item, ThinkGeek is now attempting to bring the item to market.
  • On April 1, 2008, Blizzard released images and articles onto their website depicting a new Hero class for World of Warcraft, that was to go along with the Death Knight in the expansion pack Wrath of the Lich King. They also released an article on the Starcraft II website for the new "Tauren Marine" for the Terrans.


Real news on April Fools' Day

The frequency of April Fools' hoaxes sometimes makes people doubt real news stories released on April 1.

The 1946 April Fools' Day tsunami in Hilo, Hawaii.




  • The AMC Gremlin was first introduced on April 1, 1970.


  • In 1979, Iranmarker declared April 1 its national Republic Day. Thirty years on, this continues to be mistaken for a joke.


  • On April 1, 1984, singer Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father. Originally, people assumed that it was a fake news story, especially considering the bizarre aspect of the father being the murderer.




  • On April 1, 1999 The Canadian Northwest Territories was split, and the territory now known as Nunavutmarker came to be.


  • The merger of Square and its rival company, Enix, took place on April 1, 2003, and was originally thought to be a joke.


  • Leslie Cheung, one of Hong Kong's well-known singer and actor, committed suicide in 2003 due to severe depression.


  • Gmail's April 2004 launch was widely believed to be a prank, as Google traditionally perpetrates April Fools' Day hoaxes each April 1 (see Google's hoaxes.) Another Google-related event that turned out not to be a hoax occurred on April 1, 2007, when employees at Google's New York City office were alerted that a ball python kept in an engineer's cubicle had escaped and was on the loose. An internal e-mail acknowledged that "the timing…could not be more awkward" but that the snake's escape was in fact an actual occurrence and not a prank.


  • The 2005 death of comedian Mitch Hedberg was originally dismissed as an April Fools' joke. The comedian's March 29, 2005 death was announced on March 31, but many newspapers didn't carry the story until April 1, 2005.


  • British sprinter Dwain Chambers joined English rugby league team Castleford Tigers shortly before April 1, 2008. The athlete was attempting a return to top flight athletics at the time following a high profile drugs ban, and his apparent unfamiliarity with rugby led many people to assume this was an April Fools' Day prank.








  • Also on April 1, 2009, CBS announced the cancellation of the daytime drama Guiding Light after 57 years with the final episode scheduled to air September 18, 2009.


  • On April 1, 2009, A school was almost burned to the ground in the Danishmarker town Albertslund; apparently, the fire department refused to believe that the news was true the first two times that people called to report it.


  • Also on April 1, 2009, a Virus/Worm was called Conficker and spread to millions of computers and releasing personal info and deleting files. This was supposed to be a joke, but random computers through out Americamarker were hit. Before this happened, news media like, NBC, Fox News, ABC and CBS told the viewers to install firewalls and updates to their Windows Computers before it hit.




Other prank days in the world

In the Babylonian and Assyrian Empires, the King would often be spanked by the High priest to remind him of how much of a fool he was in comparison to the gods.

Iraniansmarker play jokes on each other on the 13th day of the Persian new year (Norouz), which falls on April 1 or April 2. This day, celebrated as far back as 536 BC, is called Sizdah Bedar and is the oldest prank-tradition in the world still alive today; this fact has led many to believe that April Fools' Day has its origins in this tradition.

The April 1 tradition in France and French-speaking Canada includes poisson d'avril (literally "April's fish"), attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim's back without being noticed. This is also widespread in other nations, such as Italy (where the term Pesce d'aprile (literally "April's fish") is also used to refer to any jokes done during the day). In Spanish-speaking countries, similar pranks are practiced on December 28, día de los Santos Inocentes, the "Day of the Holy Innocents". This custom also exists in certain areas of Belgium, including the province of Antwerpmarker. The Flemish tradition is for children to lock out their parents or teachers, only letting them in if they promise to bring treats the same evening or the next day.

In Poland, prima aprilis ("April 1" in Latin) is a day full of jokes; various hoaxes are prepared by people, media (which sometimes cooperate to make the "information" more credible) and even public institutions. Serious activities are usually avoided. This conviction is so strong that the anti-Turkish alliance with Leopold I signed on April 1, 1683, was backdated to March 31.

In Scotland, April Fools' Day is traditionally called Hunt-the-Gowk Day ("gowk" is Scots for a cuckoo or a foolish person), although this name has fallen into disuse. The traditional prank is to ask someone to deliver a sealed message requesting help of some sort. In fact, the message reads "Dinna laugh, dinna smile. Hunt the gowk another mile". The recipient, upon reading it, will explain he can only help if he first contacts another person, and sends the victim to this person with an identical message, with the same result. Also Scotland has 2 whole days for pranks, April 1 and April 2.

In Denmark the 1st of May is known as "Maj-kat", meaning "May-cat", and is identical to April Fools' Day, though Danes also celebrate April Fools' Day ("aprilsnar").

In Spain and Ibero-America, an equivalent date is December 28, Christian day of celebration of the Massacre of the Innocents. The Christian celebration is a holiday in its own right, a religious one, but the tradition of pranks not, though the latter is observed yearly. After somebody plays a joke or a prank on somebody else, the joker usually cries out, in Ibero-America: "Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar" (You innocent dove that allowed to get yourself fooled), as a popular expression. In Spain is common to say just "¡Inocente!" (Innocent!).

April Fools' Day in media



See also



References

  1. KIDPROJ Multi-Cultural Calendar
  2. April Fools' Day Encyclopaedia Brittanica
  3. Olmert, Michael (1996). Milton's Teeth and Ovid's Umbrella: Curiouser & Curiouser Adventures in History, p.186. Simon & Schuster, New York. ISBN 0-684-80164-7.
  4. thirty-two days since March began
  5. Still a good joke - 47 years on (BBC News, April 1, 2004)
  6. Report: San Serriffe. The Guardian, April 1, 1977 (7pp)
  7. Daily Universe see 4/2/2008 thru 4/4/2008
  8. BBC Smell-o-vision
  9. www.bmweducation.co.uk Annual BMW Innovations
  10. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_text_direct-0=0EADF91DBB78428F&p_field_direct-0=document_id
  11. Fooling around, book extract in The Guardian dated March 30, 2007, online at books.guardian.com (accessed 29 March 2009)
  12. www.npr.org IBOD story
  13. http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/04/01/april_1st/
  14. www.NPR.org
  15. http://www.cbc.ca/radioshows/AS_IT_HAPPENS/20080401.shtml
  16. Mark Washburn, "Fewer Tuning in for Most Local News," The Charlotte Observer, April 4, 2009.
  17. [1]
  18. London April Fools
  19. http://www.gm.tv/index.cfm?articleid=10244 www.gm.tv - "Diet tap water" - retrieved 02-04-2009
  20. Have you been April fooled? - BBC
  21. Flying penguins found by BBC programme - Telegraph
  22. Fred Fedler, Media Hoaxes, Iowa State University Press, 1989, p.201.
  23. Song download (mp3)
  24. Obama, Nascar In April Fools Prank "Gone Too Far", 1 April 2009.
  25. April Fools: Ann Coulter falls for fake Obama NASCAR story, 2 April 2009.
  26. www.youtube.com: Hollywood squares
  27. Raymond, E. S.: "The Jargon File", Kremvax entry, 2006
  28. " April fool fairy sold on internet" from BBC News. Retrieved on July 31, 2007.
  29. Risk Index of back issues April 1, 2006 April 1, 2007 (March 31, 2007)
  30. http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/looflirpa/
  31. http://www.thestandard.com/news/2009/04/01/youtubes-upside-down-april-fools-joke-bests-last-years-rickrolling-trick
  32. [2] [3]
  33. http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/tauntaun.html?cpg=93H
  34. http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/04/tauntaun-sleepi.html
  35. ANNOUNCEMENT: The Future of Epiphany


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