||April Fool's Day Wild Goose Chases
The Washing of the Lions.
The April 2, 1698 edition of Dawks’s News-Letter reported that “Yesterday being the first of April, several persons were sent to the Tower Ditch to see the Lions washed.” This is the first recorded instance of a popular April Fool's Day prank that involved sending people to the Tower of London to see the "washing of the lions." The joke was that there was no lion-washing ceremony. It was a fool's errand. (For more info, see the Hoaxipedia article: Washing The Lions)
Woman Murdering Her Husband.
The Los Angeles Times reported that police officers were kept busy responding to fictitious reports of "big fires" throughout the city. They also responded to a report of a "woman murdering her husband" on N. Gower St: "The woman, mystified when a squad of detectives rushed to her home demanding the body and the suspect, soon joined the officers with a hollow laugh which somehow lacked the humor which the prankster probably expected."
An announcement was made in Berne, Switzerland that a protest was being held outside of the parliament buildings. The protestors were said to be topless women who were demonstrating in support of nude beaches. The announcement caused hundreds of men to descend upon the parliament buildings. Unfortunately for them, they found no women there.
Imelda Marcos Auction.
TagesAnzeiger, a daily Zurich newspaper, reported that an auction of Imelda Marcos's clothes and jewelry was to be held at the Swiss Volksbank. Almost 30 people showed up for it.
Reagan Heads Barstow Parade.
Radio station KIOT in Barstow, California announced that a parade was to be held through the city, and that President Reagan would participate in it as the grand marshal. A few people showed up and waited in the heat for the parade (which had never been scheduled).
15th Annual New York City April Fool’s Day Parade.
A news release sent to the media stated that the 15th annual New York City April Fool's Day Parade was scheduled to begin at noon on 59th Street and would proceed down to Fifth Avenue. According to the news release, floats in the parade would include a "Beat 'em, Bust ';em, Book 'em" float created by the New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle police departments. This float would portray “themes of brutality, corruption and incompetence.“ A “Where’s Mars?“ float, reportedly built at a cost of $10 billion, would portray missed Mars missions. Finally, the “Atlanta Braves Baseball Tribute to Racism” float would feature John Rocker who would be “spewing racial epithets at the crowd.“ CNN and the Fox affiliate WNYW sent television news crews to cover the parade. They arrived at 59th Street at noon only to discover that there was no parade. The police informed them that they had received no notification of a parade. Reluctantly, the reporters realized that they had been hoaxed. The prank was the handiwork of Joey Skaggs, a well-known hoaxer.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.