Danish April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Dogs to be painted white.
Politiken, a Copenhagen newspaper, reported that the Danish parliament had passed a new law requiring all dogs to be painted white. The purpose of this, it explained, was to increase road safety by allowing dogs to be seen more easily at night. [Appleton Post-Crescent, Apr 1, 1965.]
The Danish Money Exchange.
On March 11, 1980, the National Bank of Denmark issued a 20 kroner banknote that featured a picture of two house sparrows. Curiously, one of the sparrows appeared to be one-legged. This inspired the Roskilde Tidende newspaper to run a story that year announcing that all bills with one-legged birds were fake, but that they could be exchanged at the post office for genuine bills depicting two-legged birds.
Lines at post offices soon became so long, with people eager to exchange their fake bills, that post office employees had to put notices on the doors explaining that no currency exchange was taking place.
The hoax was the brainchild of artist/cartoonist Jan Robert Thoresen. He was
Danish Government Demands British Stop Driving On Left Side of Road.
Danish Prime Minister Poul Schluter held a press conference at which he issued a demand that the British government make its motorists drive on the right side of the road, instead of the left. He said, "We see this as a very serious case and intend to raise the issue in the (European Economic) Community… It is one of our priorities." Schluter, known as an enthusiastic cyclist, noted that he was afraid to ride his bicycle in Britain. As he was leaving the press conference he turned and added, "April Fools."
Subway Car Surfaces.
Residents of Copenhagen who visited the square in front of the town hall were greeted by a strange sight. One of the subway cars from the city's new subway, which was under construction, appeared to have burst up through the pavement. The subway car actually was a retired vehicle from the Stockholm subway. It had been cut at an angle and loose bricks were placed around it, to give the illusion that it had crashed up from below.
The stunt was sponsored by Gevalia Coffee, whose advertisements had an ongoing theme of vehicles popping up in strange locations, with the tagline "Be ready for unexpected guests."
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