Memorable April Fool’s Day Pranks
April Fool’s Day is a day when people play pranks on
unsuspecting friends, coworkers and family members.
The history of April Fool’s Day, or All Fools’ Day, dates back
to sixteenth century France and the reform of the calendar under
Charles IX, when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced and New
Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. Back then, word
did not spread nearly as quickly as it does now, and some people
didn’t find out about the date change until several years after
it was initiated. As a result, some were still celebrating the
New Year on April 1, and the rest of the population ridiculed
those people who were not in the know. And they were sent on
pranks called “fool errands.” These pranks were also known as
“poisson d’avril,” which means April fish, because a young fish
is easily caught. Eventually the April pranks spread outside of
France into other areas of Europe, and different countries
developed their own names and variations of pranks.
In present day North America, April Fool’s Day is celebrated
with jokes and pranks, some of which have actually fooled the
masses. Over the years, certain pranks have stood out as
monumental April Fool’s Day hoaxes. Here’s a look at some of
those more memorable pranks.
* In 1976, British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC
radio that, at 9:47 a.m., a once-in-a-lifetime event was going
to happen. He said that Pluto was going to pass behind Jupiter
and create a momentary decrease in the Earth’s gravity. It would
result in a strange floating sensation on Earth. The BBC began
to receive hundreds of phone calls from people having said they
felt the gravitational effects.
* Discover magazine reported in 1995 that a new species of
animal was found in Antarctica. It was called the hotheaded
naked ice borer. These animals were purported to have bony
plates on their heads that would become burning hot from
numerous blood vessels underneath. The animal could bore through
ice at high speeds. The magazine received more mail for this
story than any story in the history of the publication.
* In 1998, Burger King printed a full-page advertisement
introducing the “Left-Handed Whopper,” which was specially
designed for all of the lefties. The condiments were rotated 180
degrees for the benefit of left-handed customers. Thousands of
customers headed into Burger King to get the special burger.
* It was reported in 1998 that the Alabama state legislature had
voted to change the mathematical value of pi from 3.14159 to the
“Biblical value” of 3.0. News spread quickly over e-mail, and
the Alabama legislature began receiving hundreds of calls from
* In 1992, comedian Rich Little impersonated the voice of
Richard Nixon to announce Nixon’s new candidacy for president.
The announcement included audio clips of Nixon delivering a
candidacy speech. Listeners flooded National Public Radio’s
telephone lines to express outrage.
* In 1977, British newspaper The Guardian published a seven-page
supplement on San Serriffe, supposed to be a small republic
consisting of several semi-colon-shaped islands in the Indian
Ocean. The two main islands were called Upper Caisse and Lower
Caisse. Phones rang with eager people trying to find out more
information about the idyllic spot. Only a few realized
everything about the republic was named after printer’s
* In 1996, the Taco Bell Corporation announced they had
purchased the Liberty Bell and were renaming it the Taco Liberty
Bell. Protesters called the historic park in Philadelphia where
the bell was located. Taco Bell revealed the joke a few hours
later. White House press secretary Mike McCurry added to the
prank by announcing the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It
would be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
* Only one TVstation broadcasted in Sweden in 1962 and did so in
black and white. The station’s technical expert said that,
thanks to new technology, viewers could convert their TV sets to
color reception by pulling a nylon stocking over the TVscreen.
Thousands of people fell for the prank.
* A Sports Illustrated journalist made up a story about a new
rookie pitcher who would be playing for the Mets in 1985. The
pitcher’s name was Sidd Finch, and he could reportedly throw a
baseball 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. Surprisingly, Sidd
Finch had never even played the game before. Instead, he had
mastered the “art of the pitch” in a Tibetan monastery under the
guidance of the “great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa.” Mets fans
fell for the prank and the magazine was flooded with requests
for more information.
* In 1957, the BBC news show “Panorama” featured a story that a
mild winter and elimination of the spaghetti weevil enabled a
bumper spaghetti crop by Swiss farmers. Footage of Swiss
peasants pulling spaghetti off of trees was released, and
hundreds were taken in by the prank. Many called the BBCasking
how they could grow a spaghetti tree for themselves.
* In 2015 The Suncook Valley Sun printed the first ever
“left-handed newspaper.” After a reported spike in the area’s
left-handed, population, left-handed residents of Barnstead,
Chichester, Epsom, Northwood, and Pittsfield, NH were honored by
a right-brained decision to print the publication from right to
Suncook Sun Price Increase
Through bad times and worse times for the last sixty years, The
Suncook Valley Sun has been able to keep the news stand and
mailbox price the same. Unfortunately, that will no longer be
able to continue. Today’s edition of The Sun will be twice as
FREE as it has been for the last sixty years. Instead of $0 per
issue, we will need to begin to charge $00 per issue. There are
numerous reasons for the horrific increase. We could go on for
pages justifying the need to double the price, but few people
would read a lengthy justification. Therefore, please accept the
simple explanation that today’s publication date is April 1