The April Fool Archive:
1900 | 1901 | 1915 | 1919 | 1920 | 1923 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 |
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 |
1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 |
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013
April Fool's Day, 1986
Earth’s Axis To Be Shifted. (1986) The British Department of Energy ran a full-page ad in the Times and Guardian newspapers announcing that the earth's axis would be shifted at 11:02 a.m. that day in order to warm Britain's climate and conserve energy. The advertisement, which reportedly cost £18,000 to place, included a map of how the earth would look after the shift. At the bottom of the ad appeared the phrase 'April Fuel.' The Department later explained that it placed the ad in order to provoke thought about energy conservation. However, the ad received some criticism. Mr Stan Orme, shadow energy secretary, remarked, "This is an outrageous expenditure of public money. Let us hope this is the last time we see such expensive nonsense."
Eiffel Tower Moves. (1986) Le Parisien newspaper reported that an agreement had been signed to take down the Eiffel Tower and move it to the new Euro Disney theme park being constructed east of Paris. Where the tower used to be, a 35,000-seat stadium would be built for the 1992 Olympic Games.
Take This Job and Shove It. (1986) Charlie Bee, a disc jockey at country music station WAPG-AM in Arcadia, Florida, locked himself in the station's studio while repeatedly broadcasting Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It." He explained to listeners that he was "fed up" with not receiving an adequate salary and would play the song until his employers agreed to give him a raise. Police eventually arrived and escorted him out of the building. The next disc jockey in the studio, Bill Madison, dedicated the song to Bee and played it one last time. However, the entire incident turned out to have been a staged prank with which the police were cooperating.
BMW Moveable Steering Wheel. (1986) BMW announced that its engineer Aap Rilfühl had figured out a way to allow drivers to switch the position of their steering wheel, so that British drivers could move the wheel whenever they crossed the channel from Britain to France:
By incorporating a second-unit steering wheel socket and instrument panel into a conventional glove compartment, Dr. Rilfühl was able to provide the basis for a secondary driving position.
Soviet Missile Lands on Andrews Air Force Base. (1986) An unknown prankster planted a 16-foot missile decorated with the hammer and sickle symbol of the Soviet Union outside of Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, DC. The missile was point-down in the ground, as if it had landed nose-first and become embedded in the ground. It was clearly visible to commuters on their morning drive into work. A sign near the missile read "April Fools... Courtesy of Mothers Against Missiles." Park police quickly cleared the missile away.
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.
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).
City of Providence Closes For Day. (1986) Carolyn Fox, a disc jockey for WHJY in Providence, Rhode Island, announced that the 'Providence Labor Action Relations Board Committee' had decided to close the city for the day. She gave out a number for listeners to call for more information. The number was that of a rival station, WPRO-AM. Hundreds of people called WPRO, as well as City Hall and the police. Even more called into their offices to see if they had to go into work. WHJY management later admitted that it had never imagined its joke would have such a dramatic impact on the city.
Danish Government Demands British Stop Driving On Left Side of Road. (1986) Danish Prime Minister Poul Schluter held a press conference at which he issued a demand that the British government make its motorists drive on the right side of the road, instead of the left. He said, "We see this as a very serious case and intend to raise the issue in the (European Economic) Community… It is one of our priorities." Schluter, known as an enthusiastic cyclist, noted that he was afraid to ride his bicycle in Britain. As he was leaving the press conference he turned and added, "April Fools."
“Berri Berri Funny”. (1986) Israel Radio broadcast that Nabih Berri, leader of the Shi'ite Amal movement, had been assassinated. The news caused an immediate flaring of tensions in the region. However, Israeli officials quickly denounced the report as a hoax. The false report was traced back to an army intelligence officer who had planted the news item in the broadcasts of the Israeli Army's intelligence monitoring unit, from which it had been picked up by Israel Radio. Israel's Defence Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, announced that the unnamed officer would be court-martialed. Most commentators found the hoax to be in poor taste. "Berri Berri funny," one foreign correspondent commented.
Le Sac Pourii. (1986) The Nashville Banner reported on the latest, trendsetting fashion from France—waterproof outer garments dubbed "Le Sac Pourii" by their designers. The garments strongly resembled plastic garbage bags.