The April Fool Archive

Dr. Stransky’s Dinner Party    (April Fool's Day - 1925)

Over thirty members of Washington's social elite received invitations to attend a dinner at a Washington social club, to be hosted by Dr. Pavel Stransky, secretary of the Czechoslovak legation. Those who were invited included diplomats, debutantes, White House aides, and army and naval officers.

Invitations were extended by telephone by a woman speaking with a French accent. She told them that the dinner was to be given by Dr. Stransky at 8 o'clock. "You weel come," one invitee remembered her saying, "or Dr. Stransky weel be ver-ry disappoint. At eight. Au revoir, Monsieur!"

Every one accepted. However many, noting the date, decided not to attend. Those who did show up discovered there was no host. Nor had any reservations been made. Dr. Stransky later protested that he was the main victim of the prank since he had organized no such event. He told the press, "I sent no invitations. I am astonished. People call me and say: 'You are giving a dinner.' Today is the 1st of April and I think it is all a joke. But why should they pick on me?" [The Washington Post, Apr 2, 1925.]

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