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|
Wild Goose Chase
Wild Goose Chase
Liverpool Bikini Contest (2003)Liverpool DJ Kev Seed announced that the first 50 girls to pose in a bikini in the city centre would win racing tickets. Three bikini-clad young women braved the cold weather and appeared at the designated spot, but all for nothing. The contest was an April Fools joke.
Southern FM radio in Brighton announced that a full-size replica of the Titanic (constructed by the AFD Construction company) would be visible from the cliffs at Beachy Head as it sailed along the Sussex Coast. Hundreds of people braved the windy, treacherous cliffs to catch a glimpse of the sight. Many drove from as far as 30 or 40 miles away. So many people showed up that the cliffs developed a crack from their weight and a few days later collapsed into the water. (Though by that time everyone was gone.) The radio station later apologised to those who had been deceived.
Dave Rickards, a deejay at KGB-FM in San Diego, announced that the space shuttle Discovery had been diverted from Edwards Air Force Base and would land instead at Montgomery Field in a few hours (at 8:30 am). Montgomery Field is a small military airport located in the middle of a residential area just outside of San Diego. Thousands of commuters immediately headed towards the supposed landing site, causing enormous traffic jams that lasted for almost an hour. Police eventually had to be called in to clear the traffic. People arrived at the military airport armed with cameras, camcorders, and even folding chairs, ready to witness the landing. Reportedly the crowd swelled to over 1,000 people.
Of course, the shuttle never landed. In fact, the Montgomery Field airport would have been far too small for the shuttle to even consider landing there. Moreover, there wasn't a shuttle in orbit at the time. The police were not amused by the prank. They announced that they would be billing the radio station for the cost of forcing officers to direct the traffic. In its defense, the radio station said, "It was a joke. We're sorry, but it was April Fools. We're just trying to have some fun." The prank was actually not original. A Belgian newspaper had perpetrated the identical hoax on its readers in 1992. However, the San Diego hoax fooled far more people than its Belgian predecessor.
Reagan Heads Barstow Parade (1986)Radio station KIOT in Barstow, California announced that a parade was to be held through the city, and that President Reagan would participate in it as the grand marshal. A few people showed up and waited in the heat for the parade (which had never been scheduled).
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.
Topless Protestors (1979)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.
Woman Murdering Her Husband (1940)The Los Angeles Times reported that police officers were kept busy responding to fictitious reports of "big fires" throughout the city. They also responded to a report of a "woman murdering her husband" on N. Gower St. "The woman, mystified when a squad of detectives rushed to her home demanding the body and the suspect, soon joined the officers with a hollow laugh which somehow lacked the humor which the prankster probably expected."
Stranded Steamer (1938)North Carolina's Twin City Sentinel ran a story on its front page claiming that "a long sleek transatlantic steamer," the S.S. Santa Pinta, had "plowed through the muddy waters of Yadkin River and anchored ten miles west of Winston-Salem." An accompanying photo showed the stranded steamer. Hundreds of people (who hadn't read to the end of the article to see the phrase "An April Fool's Dream!") decided to drive out to see the steamer, resulting in a traffic jam on the highway. [Winston-Salem Journal, Apr 1, 2009]
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.]
Fire alarm pulled (1923)
The Newburyport fire department responded to an alarm from the business district, but upon arrival found no fire. Police interviewed men standing near the alarm box who swore it hadn't been pulled.
But soon after the fire engine returned to the station, the telephone rang. The caller said, "April fool," and then hung up. [Portsmouth Herald — Apr 2, 1923]
No Booze (1923)
San Jose hat dealer Jay McCabe posted a sign in his window announcing that a truckload of booze had fallen into the Coyote creek at the Julian Street bridge, and that the driver had fled. Scores of people drove to the location, found no truck, and then remembered what day it was.
(This was during the Prohibition Era, so a truckload of booze would have been a particularly tempting attraction.)
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.]