April Fool’s!! Love it or hate it, April 1st has become the day to expect the unexpected, to check your back for “Kick me” signs, and to not trust a thing you see or hear (like in 1996 when Taco Bell reported that they’d bought the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia & were renaming it “Taco Liberty Bell”…or when Burger King came out with the “Left Handed Whopper” back in 1998).
But where does all of this tomfoolery come from? Hard to say. Some historians think it dates back to the mid 16th century when France’s switch to the Gregorian calendar moved the date of the new year from April 1 to Jan. 1st (only the “fools” didn’t realize that “Happy New Year” wasn’t on April 1 anymore). Other historians date it back to ancient Roman festivals that involved dressing up in costume & getting pretty sauced (which probably led to some folks acting like “fools”…). If you’d like to learn more, History.com has some interesting background information; the Museum of Hoaxes gives several ideas for how the day began, and also has a Top 100 April Fool’s Hoaxes of all time list.