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History of April Fool’s Day

Many of you may have already been tricked today. Whether it be by newspapers, magazines, TV stations, friends or family, a lot of us may have already had the wool pulled over our eyes. It’s an odd holiday we seem to participate in, but where does it come from? How did something so childish start?

After doing some research, the conclusion is, historians don’t really know.

Some speculate that it started in 1582 when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. Since news traveled rather slowly in those days, people would mock and joke of these  folks who hadn’t gotten word of the change in calendar and were celebrating the wrong time of year.

Others believe the holiday may have started in Rome during the ancient Hilaria festival. The event was celebrated at the end of March and involved participants dressing up in disguises.

April Fool’s Day wouldn’t become what it is today until the 1700, when English pranksters started popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

In case you may be wondering what was one of the greatest April Fools pranks of all time? That title may go to Sports Illustrated in 1985 when they published an article about a pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a baseball 168 miles per hour.  The prank was so legendary that ESPN aired a 30 for 30 short on the matter.

The information in this article came from history.com

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