Famous April Fools Pranks

April Fools Day is a historic day for pulling pranks of many kinds, and there are many famous pranks for tricking a large number of people. Here's a selection of some of the greatest famous April Fools pranks. The longer version of these gems and more can be found at www.museumofhoaxes.com.

15th Annual New York City April Fools Day Parade
In 2000, CNN and Fox's WNYW sent camera crews to 59th Street in response to a press release announcing an April Fools Day Parade at noon. There was supposed to be a float parody of police brutality, a float making fun of failed NASA missions to Mars and a float of Atlanta Braves baseball player John Rocker spewing racial slurs. Hoaxer Joey Skaggs gets credit for the prank.

Operation Parallax
In London in 1979, it was announced on Capital Radio that because of British Summer Time going into effect over the past 34 years, London had become ahead of the rest of the world by 48 hours. To fix the problem, the British government would cancel April 5 and 12 that year. The plan was called Operation Parallax, which gave it a believable name. One concerned listener called about a birthday that would be on a cancelled day, and another wanted to know about how to pay her employees for the cancelled days.

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
In 1957 the BBC pranked their viewers on the news show Panorama. A news reporter told viewers that the Swiss spaghetti harvest was busy gathering a plentiful crop. There was footage showing peasants pulling spaghetti from trees. Viewers who called in to the station asked about how to grow a spaghetti tree. The BBC answer was to "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

Nixon for President
In 1992 on NPR's well respected Talk of the Nation show, host John Hockenberry announced that Richard Nixon, in a surprise move, had announced his candidacy for President. Again. Audio clips featuring comedian Rich Little presented the candidacy speech, along with Nixon's new campaign slogan: "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." Shocked and outraged listeners flooded NPR with phone calls.

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