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The April Fool Archive:
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←1959 April Fool's Day, 1960 1961→
Leaning Tower of Pisa Falls Over. (1960) The national news in the Netherlands reported that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over. The announcement caused widepread shock and mourning.
Grandma plays a joke. (1960) [Kittanning Leader-Times - Apr 1, 1960]
Fewer Fools. (1960) The New York Telephone Company announced it had prepared for April Fools Day, as it had done so for the past thirty years, by assigning special operators to intercept all calls to the Bronx Zoo. Only legitimate calls would be allowed through. When the day came, it intercepted 2561 calls to the zoo from people seeking to speak with Mr. Lion, Mr. Fox, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Beaver, etc. This was only half the number of calls made the previous year. [Chicago Daily Tribune - Apr 2, 1960.]
April Fool Pig. (1960) Bill Taylor of Oklahoma City celebrated his birthday every year on April 1st. As a consequence, he noted, he always received an "off brand gift." On April 1, 1960 he turned 40. He woke to find a large box on his front porch. Inside was a 40-pound pig wrapped in a pink ribbon and bow. He announced, "I'll just have that porker barbecued." [Newark Advocate - Apr 2, 1960.]
City School Pranks. (1960) "School children, more than anyone else, live for the chance to 'get back at the teacher.' Most teachers went to school this morning alert for tacks on chairs, glue on desks and gently placed placards ordering to 'kick me' invitation.

Probably a few instructors in the city schools forgot to check the calendar this morning and fell victim to at least one of the pranks of the class. The only consolation the teacher has it that for once, she did what the class wanted her to do."

-Allen Sackmann, [Lethbridge Herald - Apr 1, 1960]
Double-Bladed Skates. (1960) Norway's Aftenposten newspaper announced that Alv Gjestvang, winner of a bronze medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics, had set a new speed-skating record of 39.5 seconds in the 500 meter race thanks to the use of a new double-bladed model of skate. This two-fold edge was said to allow a more efficient swing technique. A time of 39.5 seconds actually was achieved three years later by Russia's Yevgeny Grishin (without the use of a double-bladed skate).
Atomic Sub in Bedford. (1960) The Pennsylvania Bedford Express ran a photograph on its front page of an atomic submarine floating in the Raystown River. The paper was subsequently flooded with calls from its readers: "Was there really a sub in the river? Where is it now? Has it left yet?" The image was created by a Gazette photographer who superimposed a picture of the sub onto a picture of the river. The Raystown River is only three feet deep in the Bedford area. [Syracuse Herald-Journal, Apr 2, 1960.]
Salt instead of sugar. (1960) Mrs. Joseph Corr reads a magazine as her children, Kathy and Joseph, gleefully add "sugar" to her midafternoon tea. [Daily Times (Delaware County) - Apr 1, 1960]
“April Doesn’t Fool When It Comes To Rain!”. (1960) Advertisement for Alligator Raincoats
Paul Krassner’s Stereophonic Hoax. (1960) News that a TV network had gone to great lengths to appease a viewer who had complained after (mistakenly) believing he had seen a black man kiss a white woman on TV infuriated Paul Krassner, editor of the satirical underground magazine The Realist. So he designed an April Fool prank to serve as payback for what he saw as the TV industry's lack of moral courage and its desire to not offend anyone, even racists. He asked his readers to all write in to NBC after the April 1st airing of the celebrity panel show Masquerade Party. He asked them to complain that they had been offended by something on the show, but not to specify what it was that had offended them. The prank worked exactly as planned. Over a hundred of his readers wrote in, creating a panic at the network. Reportedly the network executives watched the tape of the show repeatedly, desperately trying to figure out what exactly had offended so many people.
Racing Chariots. (1960) Evening Standard photographer John Polink caught a picture of chariots racing down the Main Street of Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
Calendar Prank. (1960) Evelyn Wilson, 14, shows off an April calendar that appears to be nailed to a truck tire. The nail is a fake one, designed for such foolishness. Evelyn was a student at Crockett Junior High School. [Odessa American - Apr 1, 1960]
There’s an elephant in my yard. (1960) George Morris of Safford, Arizona woke to find a full-grown elephant eating lilies in his backyard. He assumed it had to be some kind of elaborate April Fool’s Day joke. It wasn’t. But when he called the police to report the animal to them, they initially refused to believe he was telling the truth. Finally they sent over some officers. It turned out that “Dumbo” had been accidentally left behind by a circus that had pulled up stakes the night before. The circus was notified and a van was sent to pick up Dumbo. [The Ada Evening News - Apr 3, 1960.]
Stupid Safecracker. (1960) An attempted robbery was reported in El Rio, California. A burglar spent hours using an acetylene torch to try to cut open a safe in the Leonard Anderson Well Drilling Co. office. When he failed at this, he tried to guess the combination. Finally, he gave up and left. Fred Rush, manager of the company, commented, "He just wouldn't believe the sign. We put it there because we don't know the combination. Now the joke's on us. When the yeggman tried to work the combination he set the lock and now we can't open the safe ourselves."

The sign on the safe (which the burglar ignored) read, "This safe is not locked." It wasn't. [Los Angeles Times - Apr 2, 1960.]

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