The Origin of April Fool’s Day?
Joseph Boskin, a History professor at Boston University, was interviewed by Associated Press writer Fred Bayles about the history and meaning of April Fool's Day. During the interview, Boskin stated that April Fool's Day originated during the Roman Empire when a group of fools and jesters boasted to Emperor Constantine that any one of them could rule the kingdom as well as or better than the Emperor himself. Amused, Constantine gave them a chance to prove this boast by appointing Kugel, the King of the Fools, emperor for a day. Kugel immediately decreed that only the absurd would be allowed in the kingdom on that day. The custom stuck, and therefore the tradition of April Fools was born.
Bayles's interview with Boskin appeared in newspapers throughout the country. But what Bayles hadn't realized was that the story about the origin of April Fool's Day wasn't true. Boskin had made it up as a joke.
Several weeks later, Boskin confessed to his hoax. Kugel was, in reality, a kind of Jewish casserole, not the King of the Fools. He also admitted that he didn't actually know how April Fool's Day began.