While April 1st, better known as April Fool's Day, is technically not a holiday, it is a favorite day for many a child or child at heart. Some believe the light-hearted fun began in 1582, when the Julian calendar (which began the New Year in April), was replaced with today's Gregorian calendar. Other's think it was to mark the change of seasons. No matter what its origins, the day can be a lot of fun!
The most amazing part is, that it is not just individuals who get into the spirit, but also, large corporations. Here are some examples of fun pranks that have had people fooled for days, if not years - And, the anecdotes go all the way back to World War One.
In 1915, a French pilot flew over a German camp, dropping what looked like a bomb. Panicked, German soldiers dove for cover. When there was no explosion, they gingerly picked up the "bomb", a football with a note that said, "April Fool!"
In 1962, Sweden had only one television station that was broadcast in black and white. So you can only imagine how excited everybody was, when the station's technical expert Kjell Stensson, announced that they could all convert their existing sets to get the programming in color, by simply pulling a nylon stocking over their television screens - Believe it or not, thousands of people actually tried that!
Since we just celebrated Pi day, this one will resonate with most of you. In the April 1998 edition of the usually somber New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter, there was an article on that stated that the Alabama State legislature was thinking about passing a law to round the value of Pi to 3.0. Thanks to the Internet, the article went viral and thousands of people wrote in to protest - not realizing it was an April Fool's joke.
Even NASA joined the fray in 2005 with their announcement about a photo of Mars with water, and they meant it too - except they were not referring to the planet, but the Mars candy bar!
The Corporation most notorious for April Fool's pranks, is The British Broadcasting Company (BBC), normally known for its very solemn and staid programming, In 1957, the BBC show Panaroma, reported that Swiss farmers were having a great spaghetti harvest that year, since their biggest pest, the spaghetti weevil, was gone. They showed the Swissactually picking limp spaghetti from trees! (see video below). When viewers called in to figure out how to do it, their answer was - stick a dry piece in a can of tomato sauce and keep your fingers crossed!
However, the best one so far was in 2008 when they filmed, what looked like a real documentary about a new breed of 'flying penguins' - A prank that even had newspapers fooled for a few days!
The scary part, as you will see in the video below, is that even teachers can get up to mischief on this fun day - So watch out (And don't believe everything you see - Especially in this article!)
Happy Fool's Day!