3.31.2011

April Fools’ Day history, most memorable pranks

Bix said there is also history dating back centuries of people playing jokes and teasing one another in the Roman era.

Considering all the possible origins, there is no simple answer to where and when this holiday actually began, but Bix said spring is historically a time to celebrate the rebirth of nature, and April Fool’s Day may have broader connections to spring festivals. April 1 is the one day a year where it’s historically acceptable to “suspend your normal routine,” Bix said. “People accept that to blow off steam.”

Historic April Fools’ pranks

Memorable pranks throughout history — information from “Museum of Hoaxes” compiled by curator Alex Boese:

In 1996, Taco Bell released a statement announcing the corporation had bought the historic Liberty Bell and had plans to rename it “The Taco Liberty Bell.”

In 2008 BBC released a video of Antarctic flying penguins. In 1957, a BBC news report featured a report about the harvest of a spaghetti crop in Switzerland. People actually believed this.

April Fools’ Day memories:

Andy Mumgons, senior in computer engineering: “I don’t really have any memory of pranks happening on April Fool’s, but it is my dad’s birthday on April Fool’s Day and no one seems to believe me.”

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