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Did You Know: The History of April Fools

Here’s the week at a glance
at the Nyack Library.


  • FREE AARP Tax Aid, bring 2 forms of i.d. – one must be a photo i.d., 10a
  • Universal Class:  Basic Computers 101, Registration required, 2:30p
  • What Time is it?  It’s Game Time!, 4p
  • FREE Assistance with NYS Health Insurance Programs, 5p


Preparing to Sell Your House for the Spring Market with Frank Mancione, Registration required, 7p


  • Universal Class:  Improve Your Memory 101, Registration required, 10a
  • Trivia Wednesdays, 4p
  • Fiction Book Discussion Group:  Stones from the River by Ursula Hegl, 7p


  • Nonfiction Book Club, 2p
  • Egg Painting, 4p
  • Game Night!, 5:30p


Teen Choice Movie, 3:30p


Super Hero Movie Saturday, 2p

If you get a message from “Mr. Lyon” on Wednesday and the number you dial is answered “Bronx Zoo,” you’re part of an annual international prank called April Fool’s Day. Among the Great Pranks recorded on past April Fools’ Days:

  • The BBC convinced many of its viewers that a mild 1957 winter and the eradication of a pesky weevil would produce a bumper crop on spaghetti trees.
  • SI highlighted Hayden Siddhartha Finch, a 1985 NY Mets pitching prospect who could throw the ball 168 miles per hour and played with one barefoot and one hiking boot.
  • On April 1, 2008 the football field at Nyack High School was filled with desks that initially spelled out “2008” and then were mysteriously rearranged into the shape of a penis.
  • NyackNewsAndViews has done its small part to make this day special: in 2011 we built a new Tappan Zee Bridge from Legos in 2013; in 2010, we reported on the new Republic of Nyack annexing the adjacent river villages with its borders secured by Boy Scout Troop 227; April 1 2012 marked the village’s rebranding as “Jen Of The Hudson,” reworking the village’s tired “Gem of the Hudson” slogan in honor of Mayor Jen White.

It’s not clear when April Fool’s got its start. One theory says it dates back to a 16th century change from the Gregorian calendar (which stars on April 1) to the  Julian calendar (which starts on Jan 1). People who didn’t adopt the new calendar were subject to pranks and called “April Fools.”

April Fools’ Day is not a national holiday in any country, but it is well known in Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and the United States.  In France, it is known as Poisson d’Avril (April fish) because kids tape paper fish to their friends’ backs.  In Scotland, it lasts two days.  April 1 is Hunt the Gowk (or Cuckoo) Day and April 2 is Taily Day.  On Taily Day, the pranks are aimed at people’s bottoms.  It is thought that this is where the “Kick Me” sign originated.

Have a question or a fun fact you want to know? We’re looking for suggestions for our weekly Did You Know fact. Write to info@NyackNewsAndViews with your suggestions.

Did You Know comes to you each Monday on NyackNewAndViews, sponsored by the Nyack Library.


Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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