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Old Thursday, March 31, 2011
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Default Beware of april fools' day


April Fools' Day is celebrated in the Western world on the 1st of April of every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a legal holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day which tolerates practical jokes and general foolishness. The day is marked by the commission of good humoured or funny jokes, hoaxes, and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc.
Traditionally, in some countries such as New Zealand, the UK, Australia, and South Africa, the jokes only last until noon, and someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool". It is for this reason that newspapers in the U.K. that run a front page April fool only do so on the first (morning) edition. Elsewhere, such as in France, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S., the jokes last all day. The earliest recorded association between 1st April and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392). Many writers suggest that the restoration of the 1st of January as New Year's Day in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday, but this theory does not explain earlier references.

In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392), the "Nun's Priest's Tale" is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two. Chaucer probably meant 32 days after March, i.e. May 2, the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. However, readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean "32nd of March," i.e. 1st April. In Chaucer's tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.
In 1509, a French poet referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally "April fish"), a possible reference to the holiday. In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on the 1st of April. In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as "Fooles holy day", the first British reference. On 1st April, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to "see the Lions washed". The name "April Fools" echoes that of the Feast of Fools, a Medieval holiday held on the 28th December.
In the Middle Ages, New Year's Day was celebrated on the 25th of March in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year's was a week-long holiday ending on the 1st of April. So it is possible that April Fools originated because those who celebrated on the 1st of January made fun of those who celebrated on other dates. The use of the 1st of January as New Year's Day was common in France by the mid-sixteenth century, and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.
In the eighteenth century, the festival was often posited as going back to the time of Noah. According to an English newspaper article published in 1789, the day had its origin when Noah sent his dove off too early, before the waters had receded; he did this on the first day of the Hebrew month that corresponds with April.

Well-known pranks
Write-only memory: Signetics advertised write-only memory (WOM) IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s.
Decimal time: Repeated several times in various countries, this hoax involves claiming that the time system will be changed to one in which units of time are based on powers of 10.
Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell". When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
Left-handed Whoppers: In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side. Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the "old", right-handed burger.
Apple buys the Beatles: Bob Lefsetz released an April Fools' Day letter which had rumours circulating around the music industry.
In 1983, Australian millionaire businessman Dick Smith claimed to have towed an iceberg from Antarctica to Sydney Harbour. He used a barge covered with white plastic and fire extinguisher foam to convince witnesses.

By radio stations
Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect: In 1976, British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore told listeners of BBC Radio 2 that unique alignment of two planets would result in an upward gravitational pull making people lighter at precisely 9:47 a.m. that day. He invited his audience to jump in the air and experience "a strange floating sensation". Dozens of listeners phoned in to say the experiment had worked.
Space Shuttle lands in San Diego: In 1993, DJ Dave Rickards told listeners of KGB-FM in San Diego that Space Shuttle Discovery had been diverted from Edwards Air Force Base and would be landing at Montgomery Field, a small municipal airport with a 4,577 foot runway. Thousands of people went to the airport to watch the purported landing, causing traffic jams throughout Kearny Mesa. Moreover, there wasn't even a shuttle in orbit at the time.
Death of a mayor: In 1998, local WAAF shock jocks Opie and Anthony reported that Boston mayor Thomas Menino had been killed in a car accident. Menino happened to be on a flight at the time, lending credence to the prank as he could not be reached. The rumor spread quickly across the city, eventually causing news stations to issue alerts denying the hoax. The pair were fired shortly thereafter.
Phone call: In 1998, UK presenter Nic Tuff of West Midlands radio station pretended to be the British Prime Minister Tony Blair when he called the then South African President Nelson Mandela for a chat. It was only at the end of the call when Nic asked Nelson what he was doing for April Fools' Day that the line went dead.
BBC Radio 4 (2005): The Today Programme announced in the news that the long-running serial The Archers had changed their theme tune to an upbeat disco style.
National Public Radio: Every year, National Public Radio in the United States does an extensive news story on April 1. These usually start off more or less reasonably, and get more and more unusual. A recent example is the story on the "iBod," a portable body control device. In 2008 it reported that the IRS, to assure rebate checks were actually spent, was shipping consumer products instead of checks. It also runs false sponsor mentions, such as "Support for NPR comes from the Soylent Corporation, manufacturing protein-rich food products in a variety of colors. Soylent Green is People".
Three-dollar coin: In 2008, the CBC Radio program As It Happens interviewed a Royal Canadian Mint spokesman who broke "news" of plans to replace the Canadian five-dollar bill with a three-dollar coin. The coin was dubbed a "threenie", in line with the nicknames of the country's one-dollar coin (commonly called a "loonie" due to its depiction of a common loon on the reverse) and two-dollar coin ("toonie").
Country to metal: Country and gospel WIXE in Monroe, North Carolina does a prank every year. In 2009, midday host Bob Rogers announced he was changing his show to heavy metal. This resulted in numerous phone calls, but about half were from listeners wanting to request a song.
U2 live on rooftop in Cork: In 2009, hundreds of U2 fans were duped in an elaborate prank when they rushed to a shopping centre in Cork believing that the band were playing a surprise rooftop concert. The prank was organised by Cork radio station RedFM. The band were in fact just a tribute band called U2opia.
Cellphone ban: In New Zealand, the radio station The Edge's Morning Madhouse enlisted the help of the Prime Minister on April 1st to inform the entire country that cellphones are to be banned in New Zealand. Hundreds of callers rang in disgruntled at the new law.

By television stations
Tower of Pisa: The Dutch television news reported in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over. Many shocked people contacted the station.
Spaghetti trees: The BBC television programme Panorama ran a famous hoax in 1957, showing Swiss harvesting spaghetti from trees. They had claimed that the despised pest, the spaghetti weevil, had been eradicated. A large number of people contacted the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees. It was, in fact, filmed in St Albans.
In 1962, the Swedish national television did a 5-minute specia on how one could get color TV by placing a nylon stocking in front of the TV. A rather in-depth description on the physics behind the phenomenon was included.
Smell-o-vision: In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial's success. In 2007, the BBC website repeated an online version of the hoax.
TV license fee evasion discovery: In 1969, the Dutch TV news notified the public of a new device that would be handed out to civil servants tasked with finding TV license fee evaders. This device would be able to detect the presence of a television set in the house from the outside. Asked whether there was nothing that citizens could do about this, the interviewed "civil servant" said 'No', as - he said - it would be unlikely that people would be willing to wrap their TVs in aluminum foil. The next day aluminum foil was sold out in most stores in a matter of hours.
In 1980, the BBC reported a proposed change to the famous clock tower known as Big Ben. The reporters stated that the clock would go digital.
In 1989, a fight broke out on air between staff in the newsroom behind presenter Des Lynam on the BBC sports programme, Grandstand. This was later revealed to be an April Fool's Day joke
On Comedy Central, the creators of South Park aired a fake episode of Terrance and Phillip titled "Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus" instead of running the season premiere which was supposed to reveal the father of Eric Cartman. This caused angered fans to write about 2,000 complaints to Comedy Central in the week following the broadcast. The incident was parodied in the Season 13 episode "Eat, Pray, Queef", the first episode to broadcast on April Fool's Day since the incident.
The Trouble with Tracy: In 2003, The Comedy Network in Canada announced that it would produce and air a remake of the 1970s Canadian sitcom The Trouble with Tracy, widely considered to be one of the worst sitcoms ever produced. Series star Diane Nyland Procter even gave interviews and press conferences promoting the alleged "revival", and several media outlets fell for the hoax.
In 2004, British breakfast show GMTV produced a story claiming that Yorkshire Water were trialing a new 'diet tap water' that had already helped one customer lose a stone and a half in four months. After heralding the trial as successful, it was claimed that a third tap would be added to kitchen sinks, allowing customers easy access to the water. Following the story, Yorkshire Water received 10,000 enquiries from viewers.
In 2004, the Italian television station Rai 2 reported that NASA discovered crude oil on Mars.
In 2006, the same station reported the invention of a miraculous diet pill that should be accompanied to a diet rich of fish.
In 2006, the BBC reported that the door to No. 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had been painted red. They showed footage of workmen carrying a red door. Red was the official colour of the political party which formed the government at the time. The same story was also reported in the British newspaper, The Daily Mail which credited the new design to April Fewell. The door is in fact black.
In 2008, the BBC reported on a newly discovered colony of flying penguins. An elaborate video segment was even produced, featuring Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) walking with the penguins in Antarctica, and following their flight to the Amazon rainforest.
In 2010, The One Show did a part on "Cloned Unicorns" and then revealed that it was an April Fool's Day joke.
In 2010, Tony Kornheiser and Dan LeBatard of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption reported that at the Masters tournament, which began that day, Tiger Woods had requested that the news media refer to him by his given name of Eldrick in an attempt to distance himself further from his recent personal difficulties. The hosts then debated the advantages and disadvantages before revealing that the story was a joke.

By newspapers
In The Guardian newspaper, in the United Kingdom, on April Fool's Day, 1977, a fictional mid-ocean state of San Serriffe was created in a seven-page supplement.
In 2010, British newspaper The Sun run an article about its new "Scratch and Sniff" paper, providing a sample of plain newspaper. This led to a lot of readers sniffing the paper in an attempt to smell the scent.

By game shows
As part of an April Fools' joke, on April 1, 1997, Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak switched hosting duties. Sajak hosted Jeopardy! that day (which featured several Wheel-inspired categories) and Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune where Sajak and Vanna White played as contestants. Jeopardy! announcer Johnny Gilbert did double duties that day while regular Wheel announcer Charlie O'Donnell announced some parts, including the opening with Gilbert, as well as telling Sajak and White that they won $25,000 in the bonus round, which they split with their respective charities in addition to their main game winnings. A puzzle during the episode also featured Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as an answer, with the category being "Really Long Title".
On April 1, 2008, Alex Trebek appeared on Jeopardy! wearing a false mustache. Also, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak wore a bald cap underneath a wig he later removed.
On April 1, 2010, Sajak appeared during Trebek's introduction during the opening of Jeopardy!. At other non-critical points in the game, such as reading the round's categories, other people appeared in place of Trebek, including Jeff Probst and Neil Patrick Harris. On that day's Wheel of Fortune, people were alerted to find 10 things "out of the ordinary" with that day's episode; the show's website even included a printable checklist noting when each abnormality would occur (but not what it would be). On April 2, the site posted a photo gallery showing all 10 mistakes, as well as the end of that day's episode in which Pat & Vanna went over each change. The gags involved Sajak, White, and announcer Charlie O'Donnell.
The Price Is Right has often celebrated the day by featuring Showcases with assortments of gags, which have often included joke prizes (such as cheap items or trips to fictitious locations), or gags involving their presentation (such as most of the prizes being destroyed throughout the course of the skit). In most cases, once the contestant learned that it was an April Fools' joke, the real Showcase would consist of extravagant prizes, such as luxury and sports cars. The practice is best known from the 1980s, but was revived during the Drew Carey era; though all the prizes presented now are real, the prizes may have funny connections or may be presented in some comical way.
In 2009 and 2010, Kathy Kinney, in character as Carey's nemesis Mimi Bobeck from The Drew Carey Show, appeared to taunt Carey.
The 2009 episode featured Match Game's think music for games using think music, Bobeck stripping tires from one car prize, placing a wheel lock on another, unusual sound effects on the Showcase Showdown wheel, incorrect photographs for trip videos, and one Showcase where all prizes were facing the wrong way.
The 2010 episode featured all contestants referred as one name (although the CBS PR showed the real names), Mimi seizing the show as executive producer as well as the "mighty sound effects lady" in One Away. Pick-a-Pair used various holiday-themed grocery products while Plinko used "As Seen on TV"-themed small prizes. The models traded places with stagehands, with the One Bid placards and their holders not matching (six distinct placard designs were adopted early 2009, each with various colors and designs; they are required to match). Finally, the day's two Showcases were nearly identical, resulting in Carey being stuck on the turntable when he attempted to call out Bobeck for two identical Showcases, when a second car was added on the second Showcase.
Hollywood Squares featured April Fools' gags on three occasions:
In 1987, it was announced that the returning champion was ill, and another contestant went on in his place. After the first question of the game, the contestant's female opponent accused him of cheating, and the confrontation grew more heated until the male contestant was pushed off the elevated contestant platform, completely stunning host John Davidson. Afterwards, it was revealed that the "substitute" contestant was a stuntman, and his opponent an actress.
In 1988, center square Joan Rivers swapped places with Davidson to be the show's host that day (Davidson called out "April Fools!", after being introduced in his square during the opening).
In 2003, producers Henry Winkler and Michael Leavitt played an April Fools' joke on host Tom Bergeron and the stars by booking two of the most difficult contestants ever, one quite obnoxious and the other overly emotional, who thoroughly tested Bergeron's patience. In reality, the contestants were actors (E. E. Bell and Carrie Armstrong), similar to the 1987 gag on the Davidson version.
Other game shows:
In 1987, an audience polling group of 10 engaged men on Card Sharks was asked how many of them would eat real ants dipped in chocolate if their fiance asked them to. Afterwards, one of the men actually was asked to do so by his fiance and reluctantly complied, only to learn afterwards that it was just an April Fools' gag.
In 1991, contestants on The Challengers were surprised to see the gameboard reveal such extremely difficult categories as "Pre-Colombian Architecture", "Existential Poets", and "The Politics of Burundi"; after the first contestant chose a category, a large graphic appeared on the screen to let him know it was April Fools' Day. Having realized something was amiss when the joke categories did not match up with what was he was seeing on his card, host Dick Clark asked head writer and series judge Gary Johnson if he had anything to do with it, which Johnson admitted and then expressed disappointment at not being able to find out more about Burundi politics. Clark then responded, "Yeah...go to your room, will you?"
On April 1, 2003, the hosts of Game Show Network original programs guest hosted on other hosts' shows similar to 1997 when Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy! and Alex Trebek hosted Wheel of Fortune:

- Graham Elwood from Cram guest hosted Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck, regularly hosted by Todd Newton.
- Mark Walberg from Russian Roulette guest hosted on Friend or Foe?, regularly hosted by Kennedy.
- Newton from Whammy! guest hosted Russian Roulette, regularly hosted by Walberg .
- Kennedy from Friend or Foe? guest hosted WinTuition, regularly hosted by Marc Summers.
- Summers from WinTuition guest hosted Cram, regularly hosted by Elwood.

The only show that did not have a guest host was Lingo hosted by Chuck Woolery. Woolery still hosted while the other GSN hosts (Walberg and Summers on the yellow team, and Kennedy and Elwood on the red team) played against each other for charity, with Walberg and Summers winning 500-0. Newton was the announcer that day, and was also shown on camera several times during the episode.

By websites
Kremvax: In 1984, in one of the earliest on-line hoaxes, a message was circulated that Usenet had been opened to users in the Soviet Union.
The Canadian news site, announced in 2002 that Finance Minister Paul Martin had resigned "in order to breed prize Charolais cattle and handsome Fawn Runner ducks".
SARS infects Hong Kong: In 2003, during the time when Hong Kong was seriously hit by SARS, it was rumoured that many people in Hong Kong had become infected with SARS and become uncontrolled, that all immigration ports would be closed to quarantine the region and that Tung Chee Hwa, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong at that time, had resigned. Hong Kong supermarkets were immediately overwhelmed by panicked shoppers. The Hong Kong government held a press conference to deny the rumour. The rumour, which was intended as an April Fools' prank, was started by a student imitating the design of the Ming Pao newspaper website. He was charged and found guilty for this incident.
Assassination of Bill Gates: In 2003, many Chinese and South Korean websites claimed that CNN reported Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was assassinated, resulting in a 1.5% drop in the South Korean stock market.
NationStates runs an annual hoax on April 1. In 2004, the hoax was that there was a population bug and all nations' populations would be reset to 5 million people. In 2005, there was a message (supposedly from the Department of Homeworld Security) that NationStates was illegal by US law. In 2008, NationStates created a new "World Assembly" in the place of the United Nations, as they had received a cease and desist notice from the United Nations for using its name without consent. This was later revealed to be a non-hoax, and that the inspiration to use it as an April Fools' joke came from the assumption it was too unbelievable.
Water on Mars: In 2005, a news story was posted on the official NASA website purporting to have pictures of water on Mars. The picture actually was just a picture of a glass of water on a Mars candy bar.
HowStuffWorks - Learn How Everything Works! does an annual bogus article. In 2006, it was "How Animated Tattoos Work"; in 2007 "How Phone Cell Implants Work"; in 2008 "How the Air Force One Hybrid Works"; in 2009, "How Rechargeable Gum Works"; in 2010, "How the Twapler Works".
RISKS Digest often publishes a special April 1 issue.
Dead fairy hoax: In 2007, an illusion designer for magicians posted on his website some images illustrating the corpse of an unknown eight-inch creation, which was claimed to be the mummified remains of a fairy. He later sold the fairy on eBay for £280.
Motoshi Sakriboto: In 2007, the Square Enix fansite Square Haven reported that game music composers Motoi Sakuraba and Hitoshi Sakimoto had announced a merger. The resulting amalgamated life form was named Motoshi Sakriboto. The hoax played off the fact that when rival role-playing game developers Square and Enix merged on April 1, 2003, many believed the news to be an April Fools' joke.
IGN, a video game website, released a realistic-looking Legend of Zelda movie trailer on April Fool's Day 2007. Many people were excited and tricked into believing that a real Legend of Zelda movie was coming out, but IGN revealed that it was a fake. Later rumours were spread that a real Legend of Zelda film is going to be made.
Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki has pulled numerous April Fools pranks. In 2007, Wookieepedia's name was changed to "Katarnipedia" after Star Wars character Kyle Katarn. In 2008, they changed all the text of their main page to the Aurebesh language, and directed vistitors to Wookieepedia's sister site Darthipedia (which was actually the Star Wars Humor Wiki) to see English language versions of Wookieepedia articles. In 2009, Wookieepedia announced that they would no longer accept expanded universe material as canon and that the site would only accept information from the Star Wars films, rejecting their long-held policy of treating expanded universe material as equal to film material.
Microsoft Research reclaims value of pi: In 2008, an executive with the Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments posted on his personal blog an updated spoof of the 1998 April Fools' hoax claiming Alabama's state legislature had rounded the value of pi to the "Biblical value of 3". The 2008 hoax claimed that Microsoft Research had determined the true-up value of pi to be a definitive 3.141999, or as expressed in company literature, "Three easy payments of 1.047333".
In 2008, Australian video gaming website company MyMedia, released information and previews on MyMedia: The Movie, the supposed upcoming movie was to be animated and produced by the Australian Film Commission, it was confirmed fake a few days after. The movie was supposedly based on a comic series created by one of the site's editorial staff, Matt Kelly. This has since become an on going website gag about over hyping the non-existent movie through various additional trailers.
On April 1, 2008, Blizzard released images and articles onto their website depicting a new Hero class for World of Warcraft, that was to go along with the Death Knight in the expansion pack Wrath of the Lich King. They also released an article on the Starcraft II website for the new "Tauren Marine" for the Terrans. announced that composer John Williams was replaced by Danny Elfman on the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - and provided photos from the scoring sessions.

– In 2008, all featured videos on YouTube's front page hyperlinked to the Rickroll. The prank began with international YouTube portals before appearing on the main site.
– In 2009, the videos, links and most text were turned upside down and there was also a link to help users view the new site layout with hints such as hanging the monitor upside-down or moving to Australia.
– In 2010, a new option was created in the video quality settings called "TEXTp". Clicking on this option showed a message under the video which read "By using text-only mode, you are saving YouTube $1 a second in bandwidth costs. Click here to go back to regular YouTube and happy April Fools Day!"
deviantART deviantART's most infamous April Fools' joke was in 2008, when all members' icons were changed to "So I herd u liek mudkipz". In 2010, each member's avatar was changed to any of a set of icons depicting Team Jacob, Team Edward, Legend of the Seeker, and Lady Gaga, along with signatures to match the icons.
President Barack Obama pulls fundings for NASCAR: On April 1, 2009, on the heels of the auto industry bailout, Car and Driver claimed on its website that President Barack Obama had ordered Chevrolet and Dodge to pull NASCAR funding. The article was removed from the website and replaced with an apology to readers, after upset NASCAR fans protested on the Car and Driver website.
On April 1, 2009, "introduced" the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag (based on a well-known scene from The Empire Strikes Back). Due to the overwhelming popularity of this faux item, ThinkGeek is now attempting to bring the item to market.
Expedia ran a prank on 1 April 2009, offering flights to Mars. This was internally known as Project Dawnstar.
On April 1, 2009, appeared to be "infected" by Conficker.
On April 1, 2010, the first letter of each headline on every tab of Fark comprised an acrostic, such as "All Hail Hypnotoad". The hidden message on the main page was "There is no Drew only Zuul, Happy April Fool's Day from Fark".
On April 1, 2010, the official Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtains blog reported that writer Stephen Volk was set to contribute to an upcoming episode of The Simpsons for Hallowe'en and that he would make a cameo appearance as himself alongside fictional character, Pipes. A hidden message on the site read, "...April Fools', Ghostwatchers!"

April Fools' Day RFC
Google's hoaxes

ThinkGeek sends an e-newsletter containing mostly false products each year. Several of these products, such as the 8-Bit tie, were eventually realized due to customer demand.
Neopets: The popular site Neopets runs regular hoaxes, year after year. These can be anything from changes in site design to announcements of free prizes. In fact, when new designs for the Neopets pets were released, several users complained and demanded to know if it was a "late April Fool's joke". It wasn't.
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day posts a comical image with a seemingly serious description on April the 1st, with examples including 'Evidence mounts for water on the Moon' and 'Astronaut's head upgraded during spacewalk'.

Real news on April Fools' Day
The April 1, 1946 Aleutian Island earthquake tsunami that killed 165 people in Hawaii and Alaska resulted in the creation of a tsunami warning system, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, established in 1949 for Pacific Ocean countries. The tsunami in question is known in Hawaii as the "April Fools' Day Tsunami" due to people drowning because of the assumptions that the warnings were an April Fools' prank.
The death of King George II of Greece on April 1, 1947.
The AMC Gremlin was first introduced on April 1, 1970.
In 1979, Iran declared April 1 its national Republic Day. Thirty-one years on, this continues to be mistaken for a joke.
On April 1, 1984, singer Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father. Originally, people assumed that it was a fake news story, especially considering the bizarre aspect of the father being the murderer.
On April 1, 1993, NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Alan Kulwicki was killed in a plane crash involving Hooters of America executives in Blountville, Tennessee near the Tri-Cities Airport. The party were travelling to the Food City 500 qualifying scheduled for the next day.
The suicide death of Deathrock legend Rozz Williams was on April 1, 1998.
On April 1, 1999, the Canadian Northwest Territories was split, and the territory now known as Nunavut came to be.
On April 1, 2002, WWE Raw changed logos.
The merger of Square and its rival company, Enix, took place on April 1, 2003, and was originally thought to be a joke.
Leslie Cheung, a famous singer and actor from Hong Kong, committed suicide in 2003 due to severe depression.
Gmail's April 1, 2004 launch was widely believed to be a prank, as Google traditionally perpetrates April Fools' Day hoaxes each April 1, and the announced 1GB online storage was at the time vastly more than existing online email services Another Google-related event that turned out not to be a hoax occurred on April 1, 2007, when employees at Google's New York City office were alerted that a ball python kept in an engineer's cubicle had escaped and was on the loose. An internal e-mail acknowledged that "the timing…could not be more awkward" but that the snake's escape was in fact an actual occurrence and not a prank.
The 2005 death of comedian Mitch Hedberg was originally dismissed as an April Fools' joke. The comedian's March 29, 2005 death was announced on March 31, but many newspapers did not carry the story until April 1, 2005.
On April 1, 2007, the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid book came out.
British sprinter Dwain Chambers joined English rugby league team Castleford Tigers shortly before April 1, 2008. The athlete was attempting a return to top flight athletics at the time following a high profile drugs ban, and his apparent unfamiliarity with rugby led many people to assume this was an April Fools' Day prank.
On April 1, 2008, it was reported that UEFA would require the Swedish fast food chain Max to close their restaurant at the Borås Arena during the European Under-21 Football Championship due to a conflict with official sponsor McDonald's and a requirement that only official sponsors may operate around the arena. The arena was later replaced as a tournament site.
On April 1, 2008, Persch announced that the GNOME desktop web browser Epiphany would be switched from Mozilla's Gecko engine to the WebKit engine used by Safari and KDE's equivalent application Konqueror.
On April 1, 2009, Alan Shearer became caretaker manager of Newcastle United.
On April 1, 2009, CBS announced the cancellation of the daytime drama Guiding Light after 72 years, with the final episode airing September 18, 2009.
Also, on April 1, 2009, a Virus/Worm called Conficker was released and spread to millions of computers, releasing personal info and deleting files. This was supposed to be a joke, but random computers throughout America were hit. Before this happened, news media like NBC, Fox News, ABC and CBS told the viewers to install firewalls and updates to their Windows computers before it hit.
On April 1, 2010, Sony Computer Entertainment released Firmware 3.21 for the Sony PlayStation 3. This firmware disabled the "Other OS" feature on all PlayStation 3 models. The "Other OS" feature had allowed customers to use the PlayStation 3 as a full fledged computer running Linux. Because the "upgrade" occurred on April 1, many people thought that it was a joke.
On April 1, 2010, Charlie Sheen announced he was considering leaving Two and a Half Men.
On April 1, 1991, news emerged that David Icke, the British sports reporter, had announced that he was the son of God and that the world was about to end in a an apocalypse. Not surprisingly, many people took the reports as an April Fool. Icke has, however, continued to expound his views.
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