April Fool’s Antics: 36 Memorable Moments in History on April 1st

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1Mitch Hedberg

Mitch Hedberg

April 1, 2005: Comedian Mitch Hedberg was found dead in a hotel room in Livingston, New Jersey on March 30, 2005. Medical examiner’s office reported “multiple drug toxicity” in the form of cocaine and heroin as the official cause of death. Hedberg's death was formally announced on April 1, 2005, leading many to believe it was an April Fools’ joke, only to find out later that it was not.


2. April 1, 2007: Back in the day when Sega and Nintendo were bitter rivals, no one would have thought that their hit characters Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario would team up in a game. But that's exactly what happened when “Sonic and Mario at the Olympics” was announced in 2007. Sega and Nintendo announced it via a joint press release a couple of days prior to April 1, but fans just assumed there was no way it could be true. Soon after, Sega stated on their official website that the game is official and that both Sega and Nintendo are working on this game project.


3. April 1, 1947: When the media reported the death of King George II of Greece on this April Fools’ Day, the public largely thought it was fake, but he had really died of arteriosclerosis. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Paul I.


4. April 1, 1970: Apparently the announcement of the AMC Gremlin was too laughable for people to consider real. After all, who would name a car that? And a car expected to compete with the VW bug was just silly. AMC was serious, though, and the Gremlin was produced from 1970-1978.


5. April 1, 2003: The two biggest Japanese RPG franchises in video game history have been for some time Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, created by the companies Square and Enix, respectively. On April 1, 2003, the two companies officially merged, creating Square Enix, a single company which would control all IPs of both companies, an undisputed JRPG supergiant. Though it was discussed and announced beforehand, due to the actual merge happening on the April Fools’ Day, many fans thought it was a huge joke.


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6Hooter's story

Hooter's story

April 1, 1983: Hooters, Inc. was incorporated in Clearwater, Florida, on April 1, 1983, by six Clearwater businessmen: Lynn D. Stewart, Gil DiGiannantonio, Ed Droste, Billy Ranieri, Ken Wimmer and Dennis Johnson. The date was an April Fools' Day joke because the original six owners believed that their prospect was going to fail.


7. April 1, 2016: In Lubbock, Texas a woman put her fingers under her sweater in the shape of a gun and said she wanted “all the money.” When the teller just stared at her the woman said, “April Fool’s,” and left. There were no injuries and no money was taken.


8. There was a man named Porky Bickar so dedicated to April Fools Pranks that in 1974, he flew hundreds of tires into Edgecumbe dormant volcano in Alaska and set them on fire, thereby fooling the local populace, and coast guard into thinking the volcano became active.


9. In 1957, the BBC aired an April Fools segment showing a family harvesting spaghetti from the family spaghetti tree. When viewers asked how they could grow their own, they were told to place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.


10. On April Fool’s day in 1976, BBC convinced many listeners that a special alignment of the planets would temporarily decrease gravity on Earth. Phone lines were flooded with callers who claimed they felt the effects.


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11Underwater basket weaving

Underwater basket weaving

When an online college in the US jokingly offered, as an April Fools gag, a course called 'Underwater Basket Weaving' (a notorious code for a do-nothing class) the school was forced to apologize for being disrespectful to indigenous cultures.


12. Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak, host of Wheel of Fortune, traded places on April Fools' Day 1997. Sajak hosted Jeopardy! and Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune with Sajak's wife, Lesly, as Trebek's co-host.


13. NPR posted a link “Why doesn't America read anymore?” to their facebook page; the link led to an April Fool’s message saying that many people comment on a story without ever reading the article and asking not to comment if you read the link. People commented immediately on how they do read.


14. Tom Moore Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives, introduced an April Fools resolution to illustrate how some of his colleagues didn’t read things they voted on. The bill passed in 1971, officially commending The Boston Strangler for his work in population control.


15. In 2014, as an April Fool’s joke, Audi advertised a car with a built-in rice cooker in Japan


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16Wonder woman's invisible jet

Wonder woman's invisible jet

Mattel made and sold Wonder Woman's “invisible jet” as a collectible. The package was an empty plastic shell with nothing inside and was originally intended as an April Fool's joke.


17. For April Fools, Taco Bell claimed to have bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When the White House Press Secretary was asked about it, he said Ford was buying the Lincoln Memorial and renaming it the Lincoln-Mercury Memorial.


18. Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was April Fooled early in his career when his office was taken apart and rebuilt on a platform in the middle of a pond complete with a working phone.


19. Students once hacked the MIT website to say that Disney had bought the school for $6.9 billion as an April Fools’ Day prank.


20. In 1997 for April Fools, many comic strip artists switched comics and each drew another one's comic. It was called the Great Comic Strip Switcharoo.


21Sidd Finch

Sidd Finch

As an April Fools’ Day prank, Sports Illustrated fooled the NY Mets' fan base by successfully convincing them the team had signed Sidd Finch, a pitching phenomenon who could throw the ball at 168 mph. He learned the "art of the pitch" in a Tibetan monastery, under the "great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa."


22. On April Fools’ Day 2002, NASA posted a picture that proved the moon was made of cheese including expiration date.


23. UK retailer Gamestation changed their end-user license agreement for April Fools’ Day, 2010. That day, 7500 customers agreed to sell their "immortal soul".


24. The KFC Double Down was originally introduced as an April Fools’ Day joke but was kept on the menu because it had such a positive response.


25. Easter will be on April Fool's Day in 2018

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