Swiss and Austrian April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Swiss Lunar Landing Hoax.
An hour-long Swiss Radio broadcast announced that U.S. astronauts had just landed on the moon. The announcement generated enormous excitement. Telephone exchanges became jammed as people tried to phone friends to share the news. Even U.S. authorities in Switzerland initially weren't sure if the news was true or false.
The broadcast concluded with the report that the moonship would take off from the moon at 7 p.m. Listeners were urged to climb to a high vantage point, away from the city lights, to watch it return to Earth. As a result, there was a huge rush of people who tried to leave Zurich and get to the top of Mt. Uetliberg, overlooking the city. The railroad up the mountain had to add
Parking Fees Reduced.
A Vienna, Austria radio station reported that the city had decided to reduce parking permit fees, and that car drivers would be able to buy permits in tobacco shops and hand them to police officers in case of need. One police officer called the radio station to ask, "Could you please give me more details on the new order as I have not heard from my superiors yet." [The Washington Post, Apr 2, 1970.]
An announcement was made in Berne, Switzerland that a protest was being held outside of the parliament buildings. The protestors were said to be topless women who were demonstrating in support of nude beaches. The announcement caused hundreds of men to descend upon the parliament buildings. Unfortunately for them, they found no women there.
Imelda Marcos Auction.
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.
Association of Swiss Mountain Cleaners.
The Swiss Tourism Board announced it was seeking volunteers to join the Association of Mountain Cleaners. It claimed, "The Association of Mountain Cleaners... makes sure that our holiday guests can always enjoy perfect mountains. Using brooms, brushes, water and muscle power, they clean the rocks of any bird droppings." Visitors to myswitzerland.com were invited to take a Mountain cleaner aptitude test and submit their name for a chance to win a week's holiday in Switzerland.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.