Today is April 1, don’t be fooled

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Today is April Fool’s Day.

While not a national holiday, some people will be on the receiving end of a few pranks during this day.

Playing pranks on or around April 1 has been a practice for many cultures for many centuries.

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Mayor Ed Pinero said he remembers one prank Sports Illustrated played on sports fans in 1985 where the magazine claimed a fictional pitcher could throw the ball at 168 miles per hour.

“Everyone in the sports world bought it,” Pinero said.

It’s unclear which country or culture first came up with the idea of an April Fool’s Day.

A USA Today article cites the origin of April Fool’s Day as “a hazing ritual to welcome spring”, as told to the paper by the curator of the Museum of Hoaxes website, Alex Boese.

While the origin of the day isn’t easy to nail down, it is a well-known day to play pranks.

According to the website the earliest known April 1st joke was outlined in a poem written by a Flemish author by the name of Eduard de Dene in 1561.

In the poem, a nobleman sends an errand boy on a number of foolish tasks on the first day of April.

However, since the poem refers to April Fool’s Day with such detail, Boese suggests in the USA Today article that the tradition was already established prior to the poem’s penning.

The website states the poem was the first clear reference of practical jokes being played on the first of April, leading some historians to think the day’s origin to be in northern Europe before spreading to the British Isles.

No matter where it started, it is a day to beware of any supposed “facts”. Some hoaxes of the past include discoveries of made up plant and animal life or the destruction of national monuments.

So remember, as you go about your daily routine, it is April Fool’s Day.