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April Fool Cigars -- April Fool's Day, 1896
"All Fools' Day was not unremembered yesterday, although the practical jokes incidental to it are not as much relished or looked forward to in America as in England and France.

Street hawkers did a lively trade downtown in so-called April Fool cigars, which were offered at 5 cents each and were said to be explosive. Some of the Custom House clerks laid in a stock of them, which they presented to brokers. To the amazement and disgust of the buyers, who expected the cigars to go off like firecrackers when they were well started, they smoked quite as comfortably to the end as was to be expected of cigars at that price, fooling the foolers completely.

Chocolate stuffed with cotton was generously distributed at the Stock Exchange, and provision men at the Produce Exchange set burning matches in dough on each other's hats and indulted in other pranks which amused them.
[New York Times, Apr 2, 1896.]

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.