The April Fool Archive

Kansas University Memorial Tower Launched Into Orbit    (April Fool's Day - 1959)

The Lawrence Daily Journal-World reported that a group of science students had launched Kansas University's World War II Memorial Tower into orbit:

"Those crazy college boys have done it again! In line with the current rocket and missile craze that has seized the world, a group of Kansas University science students Tuesday night sneaked up on Mt. Oread, equipped the Memorial Campanile with rockets and as APRIL 1 dawned today they ran their count-down and sent the famed 'singing silo' of Lawrence zooming toward orbit. There was some question today, however, as to whether Ronald Barnes, KU carilloneur, was allowed to get out of the tower before it was launched from its Jayhawk pad. When last heard from, Barnes was practicing at the carillon keyboard. He couldn't be located today. The KU Launching Society was not sure early this afternoon whether the Campanile had gone into orbit, but they were monitoring it carefully hoping at any time to hear a beeping of 'The Crimson and the Blue' from outer space. Oh, yes, if you haven't guessed it by now, this is all an April Fool joke. Nobody really launched the campanile and carilloneur Barnes wasn't out of this world today, having both feet solidly on Kansas soil as he went about his duties at KU. Journal-World photographer Leonard Bacon simply transposed a Campanile photo on that of a rocket leaving its pad at Cape Canaveral to create a bit of April tomfoolery."

The KU Campanile (image source)

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