The Museum of Hoaxes
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BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
A black lion: real or fake?
The boy with the golden tooth, 1593
The worms inside your face
The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
When Alva Lost His Glasses -- April Fool's Day, 1572
On April 1, 1572 Dutch rebels captured the town of Den Briel from Spanish troops led by Lord Alva. This military success eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands from Spain. A Dutch rhyme goes: "Op 1 april / Verloor Alva zijn Bril." This translates to: "On April 1st / Alva lost his 'glasses'". "Bril" means glasses in Dutch, but is also a pun on the name of the town, Den Briel.

According to Dutch legend, the tradition of playing pranks on April 1st arose to commemorate the victory in Den Briel and humiliation of the Spanish commander.



Links and References
1572
April Fool Categories: Netherlands/Belgium, 00-1799, Before 1700.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.