Origin and History: April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day is a day associated with pranks and games. I, for one, am curious about anything and everything. History is a major I wish I could’ve pursued, but remained in English. With that said, I looked up the history of this day and found that the day’s origin can’t really be pin pointed, but there are speculations. It did become popular during the 1700’s where the pranking became common among the English. During the 18th century, it became popular to pin things on others backside like tails and those popular “kick me” signs. According to History.com:

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

I, occasionally, played tricks growing up. How about you, is this a day you look forward to?

Here is this day in History, according to History.com:

1700 April Fools tradition popularized
American Revolution
1789 First U.S. House of Representatives elects speaker
Automotive
1993 The “Polish Prince” killed in plane crash
Civil War
1865 Confederates suffer at Battle of Five Forks
Cold War
1948 Soviets stop U.S. and British military trains
Crime
1800 Weeks’ trial sheds light on early procedure
1924 Beer Hall Putsch secures Hitler’s rise to power
Disaster
1946 Alaskan earthquake triggers massive tsunami
General Interest
1621 The Pilgrim-Wampanoag peace treaty
1918 RAF founded
1924 Hitler sent to Landsberg jail
Hollywood
1963 Soap operas General Hospital and The Doctors premiere
Literary
1816 Jane Austen declines royal writing advice
Music
1984 Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his own father
Old West
1877 Discoverer of Tombstone begins prospecting
Presidential
1970 Nixon signs legislation banning cigarette ads on TV and radio
Sports
1985 Villanova beats Georgetown for NCAA basketball championship
World War I
1918 British Royal Air Force is founded
World War II
1945 U.S. troops land on Okinawa

Works Cited:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/april-fools-tradition-popularized

Image:

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jacko/v2/2012/04/april-fools-day-and-you/

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