April Fool's Day Content
April Fool's Day Content
April Fool Categories
April Fool: Recurring Pranks
April Fool: Regions
April Fool: Perpetrators
April Fool's Day Archive, Contents:
|Before 1900:||Origin of April Fool's Day | 1700-1799 | 1800-1899|
|Early 1900s:||1900 | 1901 | 1915 | 1919 | 1920 | 1923 | 1925|
|1930s & 40s:||1933 | 1934 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1949|
|1950s & 60s:||1950 | 1957 | 1959 | 1960 | 1962 | 1965 | 1969|
|1970s:||1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979|
|1980s:||1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989|
|1990s:||1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999|
|2000s:||2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009|
|2010s:||2010 | 2011|
Privatizing the Army (1988)The Daily Telegraph reported that Margaret Thatcher was considering privatizing the Army and selling off the Brigade of Guards. According to the article, "Strict flotation terms would prevent hostile foreign interests gaining majority control over the brigade."
The Napoleonic Chunnel (1988)The Daily Mail revealed the discovery of a tunnel linking England and France that had been constructed during the Napoleonic wars. Supposedly the tunnel was wide enough to allow an ass carrying two barrels of brandy to pass through it. The tunnel had supposedly been discovered beneath Dover Castle. The article explained, "It would have been used to rescue aristocrats from Napoleonic France, to transfer spies and to trade British goods with Europe."
First Photograph Discovered (1987)The camera manufacturer Olympus announced that it had discovered "the first picture ever taken." The picture was supposedly discovered in the Japanese "Outer Fokus mountains." The Guardian, collaborating in the joke, ran an article about the discovery on its front page.
Eiffel Tower Moves (1986)The Parisien, a French newspaper, reported that an agreement had been signed to take down the Eiffel Tower and move it to the new Euro Disney theme park being constructed east of Paris. The Tower was to be replaced by a 35,000-seat stadium that would be used for the 1992 Olympic Games.
Le Sac Pourii (1986)The Nashville Banner reported on the latest, trendsetting fashion from France—waterproof outer garments dubbed "Le Sac Pourii" by their designers. The garments strongly resembled plastic garbage bags.
Imelda Marcos Auction (1986)TagesAnzeiger, a daily Zurich newspaper, reported that an auction of Imelda Marcos's clothes and jewelry was to be held at the Swiss Volksbank. Almost 30 people showed up for it.
Gourmet Bingo (1985)The Guardian announced that under a new incentive plan, each of its readers would be eligible to receive a "Guardian Gourmet Card," allowing them to gain a 15% discount at participating restaurants. The card would also allow holders to be eligible for 850,000 pounds in prize money. Each card would display a ten digit number broken into a sequence of three-four-three. Each week top chefs would be asked to select their favorite three course dinner. A menu would be randomly selected from among these choices, and then the total calories in each course would be determined. These calorie amounts would become the prize-winning number, to be matched against the numbers on a card. In a separate article, the Guardian noted that there was some similarity between their Gourmet bingo game and a bingo-style scheme launched by their competitor, the Standard, to earn reductions on restaurant meals (a scheme which the Guardian had loudly derided as tawdry and commercial). The Guardian's editor noted: "I cannot of course deny that there is pounds 850,000 at stake here... Nevertheless the whole tone and refined taste of the competition, redolent of wild strawberries rather than the sweaty armpits of the Stock Exchange, invites a totally different response from readers." The next day the Guardian announced that it was unfortunately forced to cancel its Gourmet Bingo game because of "an outbreak of salmonella poisoning at its plastic credit card subsidiary."
The Tasmanian Mock Walrus (1984)
Daylight Savings Contest (1984)The Eldorado Daily Journal, an Illinois paper, announced a contest to see who could save the most daylight for daylight savings time. The rules of the contest were simple: beginning with the first day of daylight savings time, contestants would be required to save daylight. Whoever succeeded in saving the most daylight would win. Only pure daylight would be allowed—no dawn or twilight light, though light from cloudy days would be allowed. Moonlight was strictly forbidden. Light could be stored in any container. The contest received a huge, nationwide response. The paper's editor was interviewed by correspondents from CBS and NBC and was featured in papers throughout the country.
The Durand Auto Plant (1984)The Durand Express, a Michigan weekly, reported that Nissan would built an auto plant outside of Durand City. The new plant would reportedly employ thousands and pay higher wages than the nearby General Motors plant. Furthermore, Nissan would pay farmers $10,000 an acre for the land on which the plant was to be built. Many unemployed auto workers believed the story and inquired about how to apply for jobs at the plant. However, the story was exposed as a fake by a reporter working at a newspaper in Flint, Michigan. Many people responded angrily to the news that the story was a prank and cancelled their subscriptions. The paper’s editor explained that he hadn’t been trying to hurt anyone, and thought that he had exaggerated his story enough to make it unbelievable.
The Interfering Brassieres (1982)The Daily Mail published an article titled "Do not adjust your set—it could be your bra!" in which it claimed that 10,000 brassieres made by a local manufacturer had developed a serious problem. Apparently the support wire in the bras had been fashioned out of specially treated copper. This copper wire had originally been designed for use in fire alarms, but when it came into contact with nylon and body heat, it was producing static electricity. This static electricity, in turn, was then being emitted by thousands of unsuspecting women, causing interference with the reception of television signals throughout the country. As the article put it, "Widespread television interference, which has brought complaints from viewers all over Britain in recent weeks, is being caused not by unusual atmospheric conditions, but by 10,000 'rogue' bras."
The Daily Mail advised women to conduct a simple test to determine if their bra was "rogue": "After wearing the bra for at least half an hour, take it off and shake it a few inches above the TV." The paper displayed a picture of a model shaking her bra above a TV in order to show women how to perform the test.
Hundreds of readers took the article seriously, not recognizing it as an April Fool's Day joke. Among the readers who were fooled was the chief engineer of British Telecom. According to later reports, upon reading the article he immediately called his office and asked that all his female employees be checked to see if their bras were interfering with any electronic equipment.
The announcement itself was bylined "By John Reed," and the new publisher, Vydonch U. Kissov, announced that the paper would be "thoroughly red." A new delivery system was also promised: cruise missiles (the publisher then admitted that this proposal was a 'leetle Soviet joke.') In response to the news, the offices of the Compass and the Gazette received calls offering condolences for the death of the publishers. One caller also informed them that he had long suspected them of harboring communist tendencies, and that it was only a matter of time before all the papers in the country were communist-controlled. When the publishers tried to explain that the article had been an April Fool's prank, the caller replied, "You expect me to believe a bunch of Commies?"
Hong Kong Powdered Water (1982)The South China Morning Post announced that a solution to Hong Kong’s water shortage was at hand. Scientists, it said, had found a way to drain the clouds surrounding the island’s peak of their water by electrifying them via antennae erected on the peak. The paper warned that this might have a negative impact on surrounding property values, but the government had approved the project nevetheless. Furthermore, more clouds could be attracted to the region by means of a weather satellite positioned over India. And finally, as a back-up, packets of powdered water imported from China would be distributed to all the residents of Hong Kong. A single pint of water added to this powdered water would magically transform into ten pints of drinkable water. Hong Kong’s radio shows were flooded with calls all day from people eager to discuss these solutions to the water shortage. Many of the calls were very supportive of the plans, but one woman pointed out that the pumps needed to supply powdered water would be too complicated and expensive.