We have all heard our friends brag over their best pulled pranks, our school’s senior pranks and even our siblings who brag year after year at holiday dinners about their pranks from five years back. I had a few pranks pulled once as well, one year I hid the coffee from my mom on April fools day and made her go on a wild goose chase to find it. Lets just say she was not very happy to do a scavenger hunt at 5 a.m. and even more fuming when she was late for work. We had a few pranks in my school as well, we let three pigs loose and they were numbered from one to four. Get it? There were only three pigs labeled one, two, and four, they spent all day looking for number three. Hey what can I say, I graduated from hick high in Southern Lancaster County. Here’s some April Fools Day pranks that you might not have heard about:
In 1985 Sports illustrated published an article about a rookie pitcher who planned on playing for the Mets. He reportedly threw a baseball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy which was 65 mph faster than the previous record. Mets fans were excited until they found out that this was a false and imaginary player.
In 1962 a T.V. channel in Sweden convinced their viewers that in order to receive television in color, at this time it was in black and white, all they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their T.V. screen. It was until eight years later that regular color broadcasts were developed.
In 1996 the Taco Bell Corporation announced that they had bought the Liberty Bell and were now renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Thousands of citizens were angry and called the Philadelphia National Historic Park only to find that it was a practical joke.
In 1989 the chairman of Virgin Records Richard Branson designed a hot air balloon to look like a UFO and attempted to land it in London Hyde Park, he was blown off course and landed outside of London. When local residents called to report an alien invasion the police ran the opposite direction when they saw Branson coming out of the balloon.
In 1974 residents of Sitka, Alaska were shocked to find that black smoke was coming out of the volcano Mount Edgecombe. Many people spilled out of their homes and were terrified that the volcano was active again. Turns out local prankster Porky Bickar had flown hundreds of old tires into the volcano and lit them on fire in order to fool the town. Six years later when Mount St. Helens erupted one person wrote to Bickar and said “this time you’ve gone too far!”