April Fools’ Day: The history and mystery behind a day of hoaxes.

John Watson, News Director

April Fools’ day is filled with pranks and hoaxes, but the origins are basked in a cloud of mystery. Did the Gregorian system have something to do with it? Or, was it caused by lots of fish? Nevertheless, April Fools’ day’s history seems to interest historians worldwide.

In 1996, Taco Bell revealed that they had bought Philadelphia’s famous liberty bell and renamed it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” This was the hot topic of a seemingly normal monday and it caused a national outrage. While some were frustrated and confused, others were laughing because they realized that it was indeed April Fools’ day. 

April fools’ day’s origins are an unidentifiable mystery. Some historians speculate that it originates back to 1582 when the country of France switched its calendar system from the Julian system to the Gregorian system. In the Julian year, the spring equinox began the year around April 1st. However the Gregorian system started the year in January. Because it was the 16th century and social media was centuries away, word traveled slowly. People who didn’t realize the system was changed, or they knew and were just being stubborn, were being called “April Fools.”

Another theory involves the amount of fish found in early April. Fishermen loved early April because of the abundance of fish found in rivers and streams. These fish could be easily caught with a hook and lure and they themselves would be the “April Fools”

Lastly, in England it is considered a rule that on April 1, pranks and hoaxes would be allowed for a limited period of time and if you prank someone after or before that time then you would be the fool. Then, you could ceremoniously sing this rhyme: “April Fool’s Day’s past and gone, / You’re the fool for making one.”

While April Fools’ day is a bit different this year due to “social distancing” and many people staying home, there’s always ways to have a little fun. If you find yourself being the fool this April Fools’ day, remember to laugh it off and then secretly plan your revenge.


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