The history of April Fools Day has been argued and debated since the beginning of time. Actually, only since 1582. That was the year King Charles IX of France, decided to change the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.That basically meant instead of having the new year start on April 1st, it would start on January 1st.
At the time, it was difficult to inform everyone about this drastic change in the calendar. Those who didn’t believe in the date change were supposedly considered “April Fools.” Thus claiming April 1st as the day of fools. Apparently, these April Fools were always the butt of jokes and often sent on absurd errands during the first of April. Just imagine a French Aston Kutcher back then playing pranks on poor peasants who don’t know there getting “Punk’d.”
In the spirit of the holiday, here are a couple of popular April Fools day Pranks I found on Wikipedia:
Assassination of Bill Gates: In 2003, many Chinese and South Korean websites claimed that CNN reported Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was assassinated, resulting in a 1.5% drop in the Korean stock market.
Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to “reduce the country’s debt” and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
Death of a mayor: In 1998, local WAAF shock jocks Opie and Anthony reported that Boston mayor Thomas Menino had been killed in a car accident. Menino happened to be on a flight at the time, lending credence to the prank as he could not be reached. The rumor spread quickly across the city, eventually causing news stations to issue alerts denying the hoax. The pair were fired shortly thereafter.
Photo courtesy of: