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An Egyptian Delegation -- April Fool's Day, 1956
The mayors of the Italian towns of Siena and San Gimignano received telegrams informing them that on the following day (April 1) a student delegation from the Superior Institute of Agriculture of Cairo, Egypt would visit their town. The next day the delegation arrived, visiting San Gimignano first where they were greeted by the mayor and town officials:

"After a tour of the town they returned to the central piazza and before sitting at tables for luncheon they prostrated themselves toward Mecca and recited customary Moslem prayers, while city officials and curious onlookers stood by in respectful silence. Then they all partook of a typically oriental meal of plain boiled rice and tiny omelettes. The pious young 'Egyptians,' when a crumb of break fell from the table, reverently picked it up, kissed it and kneaded it together again as prescribed by Moslem custom."

The delegation next visited Siena, where they were again greeted by town officials:

"The secretary general invited the guests to the buffet set up in the next room to toast the future of the Egyptian republic. This was too much for the thirsty youngsters, who had spotted the inviting vermouth bottles. And suddenly dropping their masquerade they downed the forbidden fluid and revealed their true identities." They were actually local students dressed in Arabian costumes. The secretary general of Siena had failed to recognize his own son among them. [Chicago Daily Tribune - Apr 1, 1956]

April Fool Categories: International Relations, Italy, 1956.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.