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April Fool's Day, 1979
Operation Parallax. (1979) London's Capital Radio station announced that Operation Parallax would soon go into effect. This was a government plan to resynchronize the British calendar with the rest of the world. Ever since 1945, the station explained, Britain had gradually become 48 hours ahead of all other countries because of the constant switching back and forth from British Summer Time. To remedy this situation, the British government had decided to cancel April 5 and 12 that year. Capital Radio received numerous calls as a result of this announcement. One employer wanted to know if she had to pay her employees for the missing days. Another woman was curious about what would happen to her birthday, which fell on one of the cancelled days.
The Talking Pelican. (1979) The Sunday News-Journal in Daytona Beach reported the discovery of a talking pelican, found by a Georgia tourist, Sam P. Suggins, when the pelican asked Suggins for fish as he was walking along a dock. Unfortunately the pelican would not talk to anyone else. Nor was it very bright, as Suggins remarked that it said “Kitty” while looking at a small dog. The article noted that there have been recorded instances of sailors teaching pelicans to speak, just as parrots can be taught to speak, and theorized that this must have been such a case.
Bite-Size Budgerigars. (1979) CBC Radio interviewed a Mrs. Fiona Curtis of Willowdale, Ontario who operated a wholesale food business from the basement of her house, supplying high-end gastronomical shops with frozen budgerigars. Before freezing them, she stuffed them with a mixture of chestnut, squid, onion, and bread, and then cooked them. She noted that one ate the entire budgie, including the bones, and insisted they were "quite delicious," although she conceded they needed "a lot of spice."
She hoped eventually to expand her business to include gerbils as well. [listen to the broadcast]
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.
Radiation Rouses Prehistoric Creatures. (1979) Frank Jones, of the Toronto Star, reported that radiation leaking into Lake Ontario was causing prehistoric creatures to crawl up out of the lake and onto the shores of Ward’s Island.
Breakthrough in Plant Communication. (1979) The Kansas Hutchinson News reported that the Kansas Botanical Research Laboratory had made a breakthrough in plant communication by creating a device that allowed plants to "talk" in near-human terms.
The scientists realized they could converse with plants by translating their own voices through a computer into the form of "vibration waves" which the plants could respond to. "I'm not saying that it's possible to have any great philosophical discussion with the ferms or any nonsense like that," the chief scientist admitted, "but we do have some form of two-way communication."