||April Fool's Day Hoaxes by Student Papers
The University of Chicago's student newspaper, the Daily Maroon, reported that UC President Robert Maynard Hutchins had resigned due to the unfavorable reaction from his comments on football. A successor was not named, but the article mentioned Postmaster Gen. James A. Farley (said to be an expert in "political science") as a possibility. The article also stated that the French government had presented the university with the luxury liner, the Normandie, as a gesture of goodwill. [The Freeport Journal Standard, Apr 1, 1940.]
Campus Parody Turns Ugly.
Thomas Auclair, editor of The Beacon, the campus newspaper of North Adams State College, got into trouble when he ran a story declaring that the school's president, Catherine A. Tissinger, was running a telephone-sex service. The school's president responded by accusing the paper of sex discrimination and asked the Student Government Association to investigate the matter. The Student Government voted to remove Auclair from his position as editor.
PhDs Exempt From China’s One-Child Policy.
The China Youth Daily, an official state newspaper of China, announced on its front page that the government had decided to make Ph.D. holders exempt from the state-imposed one-child limit. The logic behind this decision was that it would eventually reduce the need to invite as many foreign experts into the country to help with the state's modernization effort.
Despite a disclaimer beneath the story identifying it as a joke, the report was repeated as fact by Hong Kong's New Evening News and by Agence France-Presse, an international news agency. What made the hoax seem credible to many was that intellectuals in Singapore were encouraged to marry each other and have children, and China's leaders were known to have great respect for the Singapore system.
The Chinese government responded to the hoax by condemning April Fool's Day as a dangerous Western tradition. The Guangming Daily, Beijing's main newspaper for intellectuals, ran an editorial stating that April Fool's jokes "are an extremely bad influence" and that "Put plainly, April Fool's Day is Liar's Day."
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