April Fools’ Day: A Brief History of Pranks and Gags

Dining 4 Dignity

April Fools’ Day, celebrated annually on April 1st, is a day of practical jokes and hoaxes that dates back centuries. While the origins of the holiday are unclear, it has been observed in various forms around the world since at least the Middle Ages.

One famous example of a April Fools’ Day prank was the 1957 BBC news segment about the Swiss spaghetti harvest. The segment showed footage of Swiss farmers harvesting spaghetti from trees and claimed that the mild winter had led to a bumper crop. Many viewers believed the story to be true, and some even called the BBC to ask how they could grow their own spaghetti trees.

In more recent years, NetNewsLedger.com has joined in on the fun by publishing its own April Fools’ Day gags. In 2019, the site reported that a new law had been passed requiring all Ontario residents to wear a toque (a Canadian term for a knit hat) during the winter months to prevent frostbite. In 2020, the site claimed that the city of Thunder Bay was planning to build a roller coaster to attract more tourists. In 2021, we gagged that the Indoor Turf Facility would be moved to Marina Park.

Back in 2014 we gagged about Nortario.


While these pranks may seem harmless, it’s important to remember that April Fools’ Day should never be an excuse for harmful or mean-spirited jokes. It’s also important to be cautious about believing everything you see or read on the internet, especially on April 1st.

So, whether you’re planning to prank your friends or just enjoy a good laugh, remember to keep it light-hearted and have fun. And if you do fall for a prank, don’t worry – you’re in good company. After all, even the BBC once convinced viewers that spaghetti grew on trees.

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