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|
American April Fool's Day Hoaxes
American April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Sandpapers Boat to Fit (1937)"The Flume, N.H.—Local boy builds boat, finds it too big, sandpapers it down to fit." [Life, Mar 22, 1937.]
Stealing the Alamo (1936)The San Antonio Light revealed that a plot to move the Alamo from San Antonio to Dallas had been foiled at the last minute:
Philadelphia Sea Monster (1936)The Philadelphia Record ran a picture titled, "Deep Sea Monster Visits Philadelphia." Although modern viewers have little difficulty in spotting the picture as a fake, it fooled many of the Record's readers.
Vikings in Hawaii (1936)The Honolulu Star-Bulletin ran a story about the discovery of a Viking ship in Hawaii, accompanied by a picture of the ship. The story played on the popular belief that early Viking explorers landed in America and traveled as far west as Minnesota. However, it is doubtful they ever went as far as Hawaii.
The accompanying article reported that "Wisconsin's beautiful $8 million capitol was in ruins today, following a series of mysterious explosions which blasted the majestic dome from its base." The explosions were said to have begun at 7:30 AM, followed by smaller blasts that "sent showers of granite chips down upon the heads of pedestrians." Three large blasts finally finished off the dome, though luckily no one was seriously hurt. The article added, "Authorities were considering the possibility that large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the Senate and Assembly chambers, had in some way been ignited, causing the first blast." Hot air that had found its way into other rooms caused the following blasts.
Despite the fact that the story concluded with the words "April Fool," many readers were upset. One reader wrote to the editor, "I was filled with indignation over your April Fool joke on the front page of the Capital-Times of April 1. There is such a thing as carrying a joke too far and this one was not only tactless and void of humor, but also a hideous jest."
The photo and story were the work of photographer-reporter Cedric Parker. In 1985 The Science Digest named this one of the world's best hoaxes.
No Mr. Fish (1925)In an effort to sidestep the flood of calls asking for Mr. Fish, the New York aquarium asked the telephone company to disconnect their service for the day. [Oakland Tribune, Apr 1, 1925.]
Undertakers Pranked (1925)Undertakers in Reno, Nevada reported that they received calls all day from people asking, "Someone there want me?" The undertakers soon began responding, "If you're a dead one, yes." [Reno Evening Gazette, Apr 1, 1925.]
Dr. Stransky’s Dinner Party (1925)Over thirty members of Washington's social elite received invitations to attend a dinner at a Washington social club, to be hosted by Dr. Pavel Stransky, secretary of the Czechoslovak legation. Those who were invited included diplomats, debutantes, White House aides, and army and naval officers. Invitations were extended by telephone by a woman speaking with a French accent. She told them that the dinner was to be given by Dr. Stransky at 8 o'clock. "You weel come," one invitee remembered her saying, "or Dr. Stransky weel be ver-ry disappoint. At eight. Au revoir, Monsieur!" Every one accepted. However many, noting the date, decided not to attend. Those who did show up discovered there was no host. Nor had any reservations been made. Dr. Stransky later protested that he was the main victim of the prank since he had organized no such event. He told the press, "I sent no invitations. I am astonished. People call me and say: 'You are giving a dinner.' Today is the 1st of April and I think it is all a joke. But why should they pick on me?" [The Washington Post, Apr 2, 1925.]
Sell! (1925)Pranksters attempted to deceive some of the larger brokerage offices on Wall Street. Several of the larger houses received telephone messages instructing them to sell large quantities of stock "at the market." Doing so could have caused a collapse in stock prices. However, the brokers, who were familiar with the actual voices of their customers, realized they were being deceived and did not carry out any of the sell orders. [The New York Times, Apr 2, 1925.]
April Fool Riot Call (1920)The desk sergeant at the San Francisco police station received a frantic phone call. "For God's sake rush the wagon to 1448 Bush Street." A dozen officers were sent to the address. The local paper reported, "They found 1448 Bush Street. It is a branch police station." [Modesto Evening News, Apr 1, 1920.]
Mr. Stiff, Please! (1920)In Milwaukee, Wisconsin the city morgue received over 150 calls within an hour and a half from people asking to speak to Mr. Graves or Mr. Stiff. Consequently "the morgue failed for an hour and 45 minutes to inform the coroner of the death of a patient and asking that the body be removed." The coroner appealed to the public to stop making such calls on April 1st. [Sheboygan Press, Apr 1, 1920.]