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The Back Fools' Pages

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It has become customary to prank people during the first day of April, yet no one knows the origins of April Fools' Day. Several possible legends have floated over the decades:


  1. When the Gregorian calendar was adopted in the 16th century, those who celebrated the old New Year's Day which fell on April 1 using the Julian calendar, were teased as April fools.
  2. According to the Encyclopedia of Religion and Encyclopedia of Britannica, the timing of the pranks coincides with the arrival of spring, a time when the fickle weather "fools" with humans.
  3. The Greco-Roman festival called Hilaria, which was celebrated on March 25, honored Cybele, an ancient Greek Mother of Gods. Its celebrations included parades, masquerades and jokes to celebrate the first day after the vernal equinox.

This is also the time when the media flexes their creativity muscles to prank their listeners. Here are some of the better known hoaxes (thanks to Time magazine for supplying the details; the year indicates when the hoax occurred):


  1. The Madison Capital-Times' April Fools' edition included a doctored photo of the Wisconsin state capital in ruins. (1933)
  2. BBC Radio 2 astronomer Sir Patrick Moore told listeners that at 9:47 a.m., Pluto and Jupiter would align in such a way as to temporarily reduce Earth's gravity. (1976)
  3. NPR's Talk of the Nation program announced that Richard Nixon will run for presidency again. (1992)
  4. Google informed its viewers that YouTube will shut down. (2013)

There is no end to the creativity of pranking every time this year. In a world that gets more complicated and messier by the day, it's nice to smile and take things light-hearted, even if only for a day.

How much of a "fool" are you? Take this pop quiz and see how well you can name the title of the song or movie.



  1. The Queen of Soul had to be shackled.
  2. Ozzie's and Harriet's little boy couldn't stay away.
  3. The second Caddyshack movie from the Soundtrack King of the 80s.
  4. The Fab Four didn't conquer this hill; it took a Brazilian musician to do so instead.
  5. Lounge-sounding song from a gay Greek-British singer.
  6. "It's My Party" girl was hoping for a #1 but it only reached number 3 on the charts.
  7. Why do birds sing so gay? (Hint: lyric line)
  8. The King made this country song bigger.
  9. Just about everybody takes a chance on love.
  10. The Chairman of the Board wants you!



  1. A stubborn man past his prime reflects on his life of strict independence and seeks more out of himself. Top star: Paul Newman
  2. A physician is employed by an attorney who formerly prosecuted her on charges of euthanasia to watch over his mentally ill wife. Top star: Susan Hayward
  3. A mother-in-law succeeds in breaking up the marriage between her daughter and her son-in-law. However, when the estranged couple each attend a masquerade ball, they find themselves unwittingly drawn to one another. Top star: Lucille Ball
  4. A fading Hollywood star looks back at the days of his youth as he returns home from his best friend's funeral. Top star: Daniel Craig
  5. A new clue to the whereabouts of a lost treasure rekindles a married couple's sense of adventure.-- and their estranged romance. Top star: Matthew McConaughey




  1. Chain Of Fools by Aretha Franklin (1968)
  2. Poor Little Fool by Ricky Nelson (1958)
  3. Nobody's Fool by Kenny Loggins (1988)
  4. The Fool On The Hill by Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 (1968)
  5. Kissing A Fool by George Michael (1988)
  6. Fool #1 by Brenda Lee (1963)
  7. Why Do Fools Fall In Love by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (1956) and Diana Ross (1981)
  8. (Now And Then) There's A Fool Such As I by Elvis Presley (1959)
  9. Everybody Plays The Fool by Main Ingredient (1972) and Aaron Neville (1989)
  10. I'm A Fool To Want You by Frank Sinatra (1951 and 1954)



  1. Nobody's Fool (1994)
  2. I Thank A Fool (1962)
  3. You Can't Fool Your Wife (1940)
  4. Flashbacks Of A Fool (2008)
  5. Fool's Gold (2008)
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