The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
April Fool's Day, 1800-1849
Signor Gaudentia de Lucca. (1800)
"On Tuesday the First of April, a few hand-bills were struck up in Kendal, purporting that a person, who styled himself Signor Gaudentia de Lucca, or The Little Devil, would perform the most surprising and extraordinary feats on the tight rope, that had ever been exhibited to the public, at the Old Castle Yard, on the Tuesday evening following. The bill contained a great deal of unintelligible jargon, which no person was able to make out, but which was supposed to be Welsh, from the great number of consonants in it. Notwithstanding the unintelligibleness of the bill, a concourse of people assembled, at the time appointed, to the number of five hundred, and upwards: the owner of the castle More…
Ah! You April Fool!. (1826)
"Sir, there's something out of your pocket." "Where?" "There!" "What?" "Your hand, sir—Ah! You April fool!" More…
The Great Cave Sell. (circa 1845)
On an undetermined April 1 in the 1840s, a story appeared in the Boston Post announcing that a cave full of treasure had been discovered beneath Boston Common. It had supposedly been uncovered by workmen as they removed a tree from the Common. As the tree fell, it revealed a stone trap-door with a large iron ring set in it. Beneath the door was a stone stairway that led to an underground cave. In this cave lay piles of jewels, old coins, and weapons with jeweled handles. As word of the discovery spread throughout Boston, parties of excited curiosity-seekers marched out across the Common to view the treasure. A witness later described the scene: "It was rainy, that 1st of April, the More…
The Train to Drogheda. (1844)
During the final week of March, 1844, placards appeared around Dublin advertising a free train ride on April 1st to all who desired it, transporting passengers to the town of Drogheda and back. Early on the first of April a large crowd gathered at the station. As a train approached, the crowd surged forward, eager to secure their free seats. But the conductors and overseers intervened to keep the people away from the train, informing them that there was no free ride. The crowd grew displeased, and a riot broke out. "The labourers on the road supported the overseers—the victims fought for their places, and the melee was tremendous." The following day a number of people went to the More…
Street Urchins. (1847)
"Hurly-Burly what a time! dogs, boys, fops, ladies, carts and wagons. Of all places cities are the greatest on the first of April. The quiet dandy; the romping maid; the mischevious News Boys are all in confusion; the dandy has become the laughing stock of the whole street—he walks along, he rubs his modest moustache—he feels his dignity—he swells; he sees the ladies smile—oh! ye Gods what a happy man! he walks on further—bright Phoebus shines resplendently— he looks to see the sun set forth the latest Parisian Fashion and he beholds his form adorned with papers— he swears, he looks round and sees a gang of boys with their fingers to their faces, he More…
More April Fool Categories
Media Organizations and Corporations with April Fool Traditions
The April Fool Archive: 1600-1799 | 1800-1849 | 1850s | 1860s | 1870s | 1880s | 1890s 1900 | 1901 | 1915 | 1919 | 1920 | 1923 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.