April Fools’ Day on April 1st has long been a day when practical jokes and tricks are played on the unaware. It’s a time when children convince their parents they’ve broken a bone. Parents get in on the planning, too. Classic April Fools’ jokes include caramel-covered onions or fake doggy doo-doo in inconvenient places. Businesses launch impractical or unbelievable products for the fun of the day and newspapers print incredible headlines catching readers off guard.
Of course, the trick to a good April Fools’ prank is planning. And you also need to be the first to pull it off. There’s no point in pursuing your prank if someone else beats you to it. Once the foolery has been triggered, everyone else will be on high alert and the element of surprise will be lost.
Some practical jokers go to great lengths to pull off their ruse. The more people involved the greater the risk of being discovered before the great plan can be deployed.
HOW TO OBSERVE #AprilFoolsDay
Prepare your best pranks and practical jokes. Share stories of your greatest April Fools’ jokes. Be safe playing your pranks and be sure to have a good laugh. It’s all in fun. Use #AprilFoolsDay to post on social media.
APRIL FOOLS’ DAY HISTORY
We would be fools to think we knew precisely when April Fools’ Day was originally celebrated. However, April Fools Day shares similarities with other days full of fools, tricks, and merry-making.
Some believe the day is celebrated in honor of the trickery Mother Nature plays on us this time of year with her unpredictable weather. Another possible connection is the Indian tradition of Holi. The day is celebrated on March 31st and practices the same foolery as April Fools’ Day. So does the Roman festival of Hilaria which was celebrated on March 25th.
The earliest known reference to April Fools’ Day is in Chaucer’s 1392 Nun’s Priest’s Tale. Even so, the reference is so vague, and possibly not even occurring on the first of April, leaving doubt as to whether it is the first reference.
Other scholars point to the reformation of the calendar by Pope Gregory and the Gregorian calendar we used today in the 1500s in France. The new year would take place in April, not January as it does now. The theory is that those who continued to celebrate the new year on April 1st were called Poisson d’Avril (April fish) and pranks would be played on them.
In 1582, France accepted the Gregorian calendar, but reforms had already been taking place.
In Britain in 1776, there is a clear and reliable reference to April foolishness in an article in Gentlemans Magazine. Reference to a custom in the kingdom of making fools of people on the first day of April. It addresses the day being the culmination of an eight-day feast and the beginning of a new year.
Newspapers, television, radio and social media have had their fun on April Fools’ Day. Check out all this April 1 foolishness:
- Times of London reported in 1992 that Belgium was negotiating to join Holland.
- The Evening Star of Islington advertised in 1864 a display of donkeys at the Agricultural Hall the next day. Those who arrived early soon realized who the donkeys on display really were.
- In 1950, The Progress in Clearfield Pennsylvania published a picture of a UFO flying over the town. Claiming to have “scooped” larger publications of the first-ever published picture of a real flying saucer.
- In 2008, the BBC presented a documentary on flying penguins.
NATIONAL ONE CENT DAYWhat does Benjamin Franklin, the phrase “mind your business,” April 1st, and National Once Cent Day all have in common? The answer is the penny, which we recognize on National One Cent Day.The United States first issued a one-cent coin produced by a private mint in 1787. Benjamin Franklin designed it. On one side, it read “Mind Your Business” and the other “We Are One.” This coin was made of 100% copper was larger than today’s penny and came to be known as the Fugio cent.It wasn’t until 1792 that the United States Mint was first created. The first coins struck by the newly established mint were called Chain cents, or Flowing Hair Chain Cents by collectors today. On one side of the was coin a circle of 13 links of chain representing the 13 colonies. On the reverse was an image of a woman with flowing hair, otherwise known as Liberty.The one-cent coin was reduced in size in the 1850s to make the currency more economical and easier to handle. In 1856, the mint produced the Flying Eagle cent with a wreath on the reverse side.This coin was soon replaced with the Indian Head cent in 1859, which quickly became popular and remained in circulation for decades.Today’s one-cent coin is made of copper and zinc and has borne the image of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909. From 1959 to 2008, the reverse featured the Lincoln Memorial. Four different reverse designs in 2009 honored Lincoln’s 200th birthday depicting various scenes from his lifetime, and a new, permanent reverse – the Union Shield – was introduced in 2010.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalOneCentDay
On National One Cent Day, you can research the history of the penny and also learn about saving your cents. Each penny saved accumulates over time. Also, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for coloring pages and projects designed for the day.
Use #NationalOneCentDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL ONC CENT DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues to research the origins of this coinage holiday. We’ve flipped a coin several times but still haven’t discovered the founder.
NATIONAL BURRITO DAY
National Burrito Day on the first Thursday in April celebrates the tasty and versatile Mexican dish wrapped in a tortilla.
A burrito is a heavy tortilla wrapped around meat, cheese, tomato, rice, beans, vegetables, and sauces. Like many other tortilla dishes, the burrito is flexible. The cook chooses the meat fillings from ground beef, shredded chicken, shredded beef or shredded pork. The same applies to the bean choices, often ranging from black, red, whole or refried beans. Once again, the flexibility of choice applies to the vegetables allowing the cook to grill the vegetables or keep them fresh. Spices such as cumin, chili powder, and oregano give the burritos an authentic Mexican flavor. For added crunch, chimichangas are burritos that have been deep-fried.
The word burrito first appeared in the Dictionary of Mexicanisms in 1895. The Guanajuato region of Mexico uses the term and means little donkey in Spanish. It is possible that it stems from the appearance of the packs and bedrolls donkeys used to carry. In other regions of Mexico, similar types of food are known as flauta.
The burrito was introduced in the United States in the 1930s at the El Cholo Spanish Café in Los Angeles. Since then, the burrito has found its way to menus all across the United States. Home cooks serve the burrito because it’s a crowd-pleaser and filling, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBurritoDay
Call some friends and go out for burritos or make some at home. Who makes your favorite burritos? Be sure to tag someone who prepares the best burritos whether it’s mom or the local Mexican restaurant. If you make the best, you might be getting some love today.
Try this delicious chicken burrito recipe from @HolidayFoodies! Use #NationalBurritoDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL BURRITO DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues to research the origin of this tortilla-loving food holiday.
NATIONAL SOURDOUGH BREAD DAY
National Sourdough Bread Day on April 1st recognizes one of the world’s oldest leavened breads.
Sourdough is produced through the process of long fermentation of the dough using lactobacilli and yeasts. The use of naturally occurring yeasts and friendly bacteria versus cultivated yeast causes the bread to have a slightly sour, but pleasant taste.
Most likely the first form of leavening available to bakers, it is believed sourdough originated in Ancient Egyptian times around 1500 BC. During the European Middle Ages, it also remained the usual form of leavening.
As part of the California Gold Rush, sourdough was the principal bread made in Northern California and is still a part of the culture of San Francisco today. The bread was so common at that time the word “sourdough” became a nickname for the gold prospectors. In The Yukon and Alaska, a “sourdough” is also a nickname given to someone who has spent an entire winter north of the Arctic Circle. It refers to their tradition of protecting their sourdough during the coldest months by keeping it close to their body. The sourdough tradition was also carried into Alaska and western Canadian territories during the Klondike Gold Rush.
San Francisco sourdough is the most famous sourdough bread made in the United States today. In contrast to sourdough production in other areas of the country, the San Francisco variety has remained in continuous production since 1849, with some bakeries able to trace their starters back to California’s Gold Rush period. Many restaurant chains keep it as a menu staple. Sourdough bread is a great side to your soup, stew or toasted with your morning cereal.
HOW TO OBSERVE #SourdoughBreadDay
Bake some homemade sourdough bread. Share a recipe or order some from your favorite bakery. Celebrate by tagging them and letting them know how much you appreciate them. We also have a recipe for you to enjoy.
Use #SourdoughBreadDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL SOURDOUGH BREAD DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this delicious food holiday.
TAKE DOWN TOBACCO NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION
Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. A part of the Kick Butts campaign, the initiative not only empowers students to say no to tobacco and e-cigarettes but also gives them the tools to become a tobacco-free generation.
However, they cannot do it alone. They require the support and conversations of their families, teachers, and communities at large. These conversations include policies that prevent tobacco products targeted at youth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use by youth increased by 1.5 million users in 2018.
Around the United States, teachers, youth leaders, and health advocates organize events raising awareness and providing education for a tobacco-free lifestyle. The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse is participating in this national awareness day in local schools through creative activities aimed at continuing conversations about healthy lifestyles.
HOW TO OBSERVE #TakeDownTobacco
How can you get involved?
- Empower every generation to be tobacco-free, especially our youth. Build-up their leadership skills so they can be a tobacco-free and resistant generation.
- Write to policymakers and make yourself heard.
- Speak out and promote policies proven to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Organize writing campaigns, walks or art contests that inspire students to speak to a tobacco-free tomorrow.
- Invite youth to share their innovative solutions. It is their generation being impacted and their involvement matters.
Stand against tobacco and use #TakeDownTobacco to post on social media.
TAKE DOWN TOBACCO DAY OF ACTION
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids organizes Take Down Tobacco Day of Action. Each year, the United Health Foundation sponsors the event. In 1995, it began as Kick Butts Day and then in 2020, the campaign became Take Down Tobacco Day of Action.
April 1st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Panorama, a BBC television programme, runs a segment on the Swiss spaghetti harvest.
NASA selects its first seven astronauts who become known as the Mercury 7.
They included Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton. Of the seven, Alan Shepard would be the first American in space. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Gus Grissom would die tragically with two other astronauts (Ed White and Roger Chaffee) when a fire erupted during a pre-launch test for the first manned Apollo 1 flight. They were the first casualties of the NASA space program.
American Motors releases the first Gremlin off the assembly line.
Australian millionaire Dick Smith towed what appeared to be a giant iceberg into Sydney Harbor. It was an accomplishment he had been promising to do for months and now he had. It was also time to chip off chunks and fill everyone’s drinks. Well, until his prank was revealed by a sudden rain that washed away fire suppression foam and shaving foam showing a small wooden mountain draped with plastic sheeting loaded on the barge.
The Taco Liberty Bell and other patriotic businesses wipe out National Debt. Or that’s what the headlines would have read if their April Fool’s prank had gotten carried away. Their full-page ads informed the public that the fast-food chain had purchased the national treasure to offset our nation’s debt and encouraged other businesses to do the same.
National Day Calendar releases an article about the successful production of yolkless eggs.
Recipe of the Day
Peanut Butter BBQ Chicken Pizza
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Prep: About 40 minutes
Serves 4 (with 2 slices each)
1 package pizza crust
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 green onions, chopped
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
Prepare packaged crust according to package directions.
Combine peanut butter with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly.
Spread over the prepared and partially-baked crust.
Add chopped rotisserie chicken, green onions, and mozzarella cheese.
Bake 10-12 minutes until cheese begins to turn golden.
April 1st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Sergei Rachmaninoff – 1873
The Russian pianist and composer produced immensely moving music like his 1901 Piano Concerto No. 2. In 1917, the Russian Revolution drove him and his family out of the country. He eventually settled in the United States where he continued playing and composing until his death in 1948.
Lon Chaney – 1883
Known as the “Man of a Thousand Faces,” Lon Chaney literally transformed how we perceive cinema. The actor, make-up artist, and director’s pioneering work set the stage for magnificent and compelling artistry and technique. Chaney’s influence is still felt throughout the industry today.
Florence Blanchard – 1884
Florence Blanchfield was the first Army nurse to be granted a regular Army commission. She joined in 1917 and served during World Wars I and II. Her efforts brought about equality in pay and rank to women in the Army and Navy.
Alberta Hunter – 1895
The internationally known jazz and blues singer hung up her microphone in 1954 and pursued a career in practical nursing. Following graduation, Hunter continued her nursing career until 1977 when she picked up her microphone once more.
Anne McCaffrey – 1926
The American Irish writer is best known for her science fiction work, especially her Dragonriders of Pern series. She is a science fiction writer of firsts, becoming the first woman to win both the Hugo Award (1968) and the Nebula Award (1969).
Nell Jackson – 1929
The Olympic sprinter was a pioneer in women’s track & field. She competed in the 1948 Olympics but her greater contribution to the sport was being selected as the first African American head coach for the women’s U.S. Olympic team in 1956. In 1972, Jackson was selected again to lead the team.
Otto Von Bismarck – 1815
Ernest Barnes – 1874
James Lee Dozier – 1931
Debbie Reynolds – 1932
Gil Scott Heron – 1949
Susan Boyle – 1961
About National Day Calendar
National Day Calendar® is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!
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