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April 2010
Happy April Fools! I've been busy working on my book, but April 1st has managed to pull me back to the site.

Last year I posted a brief rant about the origin of April Fool's Day, explaining how every year reporters write articles claiming that the most likely origin of the holiday is the Gregorian calendar reform of the late 16th century. This explanation gets trotted out every year, even though there's just no way it's true. Last year I noted:

I realize it's probably overly optimistic to expect reporters to do much fact checking when they're on a deadline and told to write a story about the origin of April Fool's Day, which is why I expect the calendar-change hypothesis to keep getting rolled out year after year by reporters, well into the future.

This year is already true to form. Yahoo's Buzz Log posted an article about April Fool's Day which not only manages to identify calendar change as the likely origin of the day, but claims that it's a hypothesis I support! Mike Krumboltz, the author of the Buzz Log piece, writes:

There are several theories regarding the origin of April Fools' Day, and none of them are 100% definitive. However, one does stand above the rest: The Museum of Hoaxes explains that in 1564, King Charles IX of France passed a law that changed the beginning of the year from April 1 to January 1. News of the change traveled slowly. Those who were either misinformed or slow to make the adjustments still celebrated the New Year on April 1. As a result, they were mocked and pranks were pulled.

He even links to my article about the origin of April Fool's Day, apparently not realizing that much of my article is spent trying to debunk the calendar-change hypothesis.

Some things never change!
Categories: April Fools Day
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 01, 2010
Comments (19)