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April Showers Bring May Flowers …

March 31st, 2013 · No Comments · Ages 0-2, Ages 2-3, Ages 4-5, Ages 6-13, Books, Children, City Library, Events, Friends of the West Manchester Community Library, Government Documents, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-12, Grades K-2, Local History, Main Branch, News, NH Room, Teens, Trustees, West Branch

In 1957 there were reports from Switzerland of Spaghetti TreesApril Showers Bring May Flowers …

…but what does a may flower bring?

Pilgrims!  Get it?  May flower = Mayflower

Ah yes.  April first is upon us.  The day for jokes, pranks and hoaxes.  But how did this tradition come to pass?

Some say it goes back to the late 1500s when countries officially changed the start of the year from March 25 to the first of January..  Any one who forgot and celebrated the new year at the end of March was mocked.

Others think that Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, first published in 1392, refers to April fools when the character of Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.

Either way, people around the world have, for centuries, been using April 1st as a day to play pranks on friends and foes alike.  Even businesses have been known to trick their customers on this day.

In 1957, a respected BBC program reported a bumper spaghetti crop.  They showed footage of people harvesting spaghetti from trees.  Some viewers were so convinced that they called the station to find where they could buy a spaghetti tree of their own.

More recently, in 1996, Taco Bell took out a full page advertisement claiming that, in an attempt to help with the national debt, they had bought the Liberty Bell and were going to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell.  Residents of Philadelphia were not amused.

Want to learn more?  Take a look at www.museumofhoaxes.com or www.snopes.com for more stories of the world’s top hoaxes, pranks, and urban legends.

Or come in to the library and check out:

April Fool! by Harriet Ziefert
April Fool’s Day by Dorothy Les Tina
Black cats and April fools by Harry Oliver
Debunked! by Richard Roeper
Fooled you! by Elaine Pascoe
Phantom hitchhikers and other urban legends by Jack   Albert
The surprise book by Laurence B. White

Interestingly enough, the first of April is also National Fun at Work Day (I kid you not).  So go ahead – tell a joke, amuse your co-workers, find a reason to laugh.  After all, it is a national holiday.

And did you hear who was finally caught stealing the soap in the bathroom?  The Robber Ducky!

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