Sunday, March 25, 2012

Factoids: What do you have planned for April Fools?

Famous April Fools Day pranks of the past.

On April 1st 1966, BBC broadcast a TV documentary on spaghetti-growers in Italy. Among the film's highlights: footage of Italian farmers picking market-ready spaghetti from ''spahgetti plants.'' To the BBC's shock and astonishment, British viewers accepted news that Italy's ''pasta farmers'' had been able to fight off the ''spaghetti weevil, which had been especially destructive this year.''

In 1992 the radio show, Talk of the Nation News, announced on April 1st that Richard Nixon had entered the race for president. They actually interviewed the ''president'', who was portrayed by the impressionist Rich Little on air. ''I never did anything wrong, and I won't ever do it again'' he announced. Listeners actually called the show to comment, with one making a comparison of Nixon to Clinton, ''Nixon never screwed around with anyone's wife except his own, and according to some accounts, not even with her.''

In 1976, a famous astronomer told the BBC radio audience that Pluto would be passing exceptionally close to Jupiter, and that it would decrease the effect on Earth's gravitational pull for 24 hours on the day of April 1st. He explained that listeners would feel the effects if they jumped in the air at exactly 9:47 a.m.