Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/On This Day

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April Fool's Day Main Page (talk)
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Current discussion
2014
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2005

Please use this page for discussions surrounding the maintenance of "On This Day" items for April Fool's day


Areas of work needed to complete the front page are:

Ground rules for this activity along with a list or participants may be found on the Main talk page.

This box: viewtalkedit
Selected anniversaries for the "On this day" section of the Main Page
Please read the selected anniversaries guidelines before editing this box.

April 1: National Day in Iran (1979); Edible Book Day

Richard Plantagenet Campbell Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
The 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

Cynthia Lennon (d. 2015) ·

More anniversaries:


The Mission[edit]

This section should focus on unusual, but factual events occurring on 1 April, mostly April Fool's jokes played by other people. This would serve the dual purpose of providing fact and reminding the reader that this is April Fool's Day, which may further convince them that the Wikipedia is presenting "joke facts". Selected anniversaries can include anything that happened as described in April Fool's Day#Well-known hoaxes.

I like the idea of listing notable jokes played by other people but it means that genuinely notable events such as the end of the Spanish Civil War or Iran overthrowing the Shah will never feature in On this day. I'm unsure of the best way round this. --Cherry blossom tree 00:45, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
How many notable April 1 events are there? I agree that this is a prime case, along with the 'In the News' section, for having a 'serious' section linked from a humorous one. Maybe just have April Fool's Day main page every two years, and take a rest after this year, which I believe will be three years running? Carcharoth 23:48, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Notable real events can appear if they are expressed whimsically, as with the foundation of the RAF above. Certes (talk) 23:13, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Action Items[edit]

  1. What bizarre things can we think of that happened on April 1st - preferably things that aren't April Fool's day related.
  2. Again, someone has to take the action to get these through whatever committee deals with this stuff.


Candidates[edit]

  • 1318 - Scots capture a small town from the English again. English march to get it back again.
  • 1789 - In New York City, the United States House of Representatives holds its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first House Speaker.
  • 1924 - Adolf Hitler jailed for trying to start a revolution in a beer hall
  • 1974 - Berkshire gives a 374-foot horse to Oxfordshire
  • 1944 - bombing Switzerland? (Maybe a bit too serious.)
  •  ???? - Battle of the Five Forks (surely there's something in that name).
    • 1865 - General Pickett ordered to hold Five Forks, loses 2,950.
  • 1976 - Apple Computer founded (can we find out any improbable facts about this)?
  • 527 - Justinian I becomes emperor (seems to have been among the least comic of Byzantine emperors).
  • 1957 - The BBC recommends that radio listeners place a sprig of spaghetti in a can of tomato sauce and hope for the best.[1]
  • 1980 - Opening of Britain's first nudist beach in Brighton.
  • 1918 - RAF founded
  • 1939 - Generalísimo Francisco Franco of the Spanish State announced the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the last of the Republican forces surrendered.
  • 1974 - Iran declares itself to be an Islamic Republic.
  • 1973 - Britain introduces VAT (Value Added Tax) to replace Purchase Tax and SET.
  • 1965 - Britain announces the formation of Greater London - comprising the City of London and 32 Metropolitan Authorities.
  • 1960 - United States launches its first weather satellite.
  • 1958 - First Aldermaston march for nuclear disarmament in Britain.
  • 1945 - World War II: Operation Iceberg - United States troops land on Okinawa in the last campaign of the war.
  • 1948 - The blockade of Berlin begins with Soviet troops enforcing road and rail blocks between Berlin and the Allied Zone in West Germany. The Allies mount a massive airlift to keep West Berlin supplied.
  • 1947 - School leaving age in Britain raised to 15.
  • 1947 - Britain nationalises the Electricity Industry.
  • 1945 - World War II: American forces invade the island of Okinawa in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1935 - Britain introduces Green Belt legislation to stop indiscriminate building on many areas of the countryside. (Maybe there is scope here: "Britain passes law requiring Green belts.")
  • 1938 - The term "boner" was created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during a chess game with the current king of Iceland.
  • 1924 - The first gramophone to change records automatically goes on sale.
  • 1877 - Thomas Alva Edison announces invention of microphone
  • 1816 - Jane Austen writes: "I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter."
  • 1970 - the Gremlin is introduced to the American market.
  • 1979 - Iran's government becomes an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote, overthrowing the Shah officially.
  • 1997 - the Comic strip switcheroo sees 46 syndicated artists swap strips for the day

Comments[edit]

(Comments that contained suggestions moved to suggestions list above)

that's a good start. but i think something like "1970: Gremlin turned loose, charges through American market" would be better. with this new sentence structuring, the status of gremlin is now vague and [i]seems[/i] monster like, while not saying anything untrue about the event. just plain ol' American hype. ;) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bierleka (talkcontribs) 11:21, 12 January 2007 (UTC).
How about looking up the total number of traffic fatalities involving the Gremlin, and saying "Gremlin released into American market. Death toll later estimated at over 50,000 (or however many)."--Joel 22:56, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
(Uncylopedia has other material to develop a Russian reversal theme.) Certes (talk) 23:08, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
  • On 1 April 1934, the UCI published a new definition of a racing bicycle that specified how high the bottom bracket could be above the ground, how far it could be in front of the seat and how close it could be to the front wheel. The new definition effectively banned recumbents from UCI events and guaranteed that upright bicycles would not have to compete against recumbents. For all intents and purposes, the ban is still in effect. See Recumbent bicycle. --Missmarple 18:08, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1976 - Apple Computer founded (can we find out any improbable facts about this)?
    • Couldn't you just say, "1976 - the apple was created?" Still truthful, yet with a twist. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 15:40, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Cue puns about how many bytes were in its core, windfalls for the founders, etc., not forgetting the McIntosh (apple). Certes (talk) 23:08, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Short-list?[edit]

Well, time is getting short. We need at least five good ones. So far, the most likely appear to be:

  • 527 - Justinian the Great becomes emperor, a plague is later named in his honor.
  • 1924 - Adolf Hitler jailed for trying to start a revolution in a beer hall
  • 1957 - The BBC recommends that radio listeners place a sprig of spaghetti in a can of tomato sauce and hope for the best.
  • 1970 - Gremlins are introduced into America.
  • 1974 - Berkshire gives a 374-foot horse to Oxfordshire
  • 1980 - Opening of Britain's first nudist beach in Brighton. (If we wrote it as: "Nudism is encouraged on Brighton beach" might surprise Americans because they are thinking of the wrong "Brighton beach").
  • 1997 - The Comic strip switcheroo

I think we need a creative way to re-state these so that they sound incredible - but this seems to a good start.

If it matters, I particularly liked the Five Forks one. --Islomaniac 973 23:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't like the Hitler one, I find it too lighthearted for such a despicable being. Any jokes made about him must be downright vitriolic. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 00:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Calling it "Brighton beach" (and not mentioning Britain) would be better then, since even more people would be fooled. — Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 00:34, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Report on the news[edit]

e.g., "2005 - BBC News reports Zombie attacks in Cambodia.[1]" The old Daily Show trick, inverted: Real news is fake news, and fake news is real history.--Joel 22:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Actual Date[edit]

I think that, instead of saying it's April 1, we should say March 32, or November 152 etc. While this is not untrue, it is an April Fool's-y thing to do. Bensmith53 00:30, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

March 32 is the only possibility, as otherwise the presence/absence of February 29 screws things up as far as events that happened on leap years are concerned. --ais523 15:36, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
2007 is not affected unless we go for September One thousand and whatever. So Nov 152 could work.Bensmith53 10:01, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Some late entries[edit]

  • 2002 Tesco announces the impending release of "whistling carrots".
  • 1977 The Guardian celebrates the 10th anniversary of Sans Seriffe, a small republic made up of "several semi-colon shaped islands in the Indian Ocean". (FYI the largest island was Upper Caisse and the smallest was Lower Caisse)
  • 1986 The Parisien reports the dismantling of the Eiffel Tower.
  • 1965 The BBC announces the release of their experimental technology allowing smells to be transmitted over the airwaves. (FYI several dim-witted listeners called in to say that they could smell some of the smells)
  • 1919 Piles of horse manure are found in Venice's Piazza Sam Marco. Horses that can swim are blamed, as the Piazza is surrounded entriely by canals. (It was actually Horace de Vere Cole who hired gondoliers to dump (pardon the pun) the manure in the Piazza.

All of these come from Sandra Hall's On This Day (2005, New Holland) Bensmith53 00:43, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Can you find articles for any of these events? —Dgiest c 22:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
We could easily add sections to the relevant articles if we can't make full articles (i.e. Tesco for the first one, the Guardian for the second etc.)Bensmith53 06:38, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Spikebrennan (talk) 16:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Misdirection in chronicling hoaxes[edit]

It is my opinion that we should be a bit deliberately misleading in wording the past hoaxes by others. Specifically, it shouldn't be too obvious that we're reporting on a press hoax in the blurb — thus it's best to avoid items that can only be worded as a third-party "BBC reports that..." For example, the BBC introducing smell-o-vision is something the BBC is actually doing itself, so it's more believable. For the holiday, we might have Independence Day in San Serrife — avoiding reference to The Guardian.--Pharos 21:14, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

My recent changes so far[edit]

So far, I added Berwick-upon-Tweed and Serious Organised Crime Agency because of their unusual names, along with Independence Day in San Serriffe, to the template. I also put on Richard M. Nixon signing the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banning cigarette TV and radio ads -- just so Nixon's image can be on there (for various reasons). The problem is that Justinian I is already on April 7 and the Beer Hall Putsch was featured on November 8. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 02:26, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

2008[edit]

My aim for 2008 and beyond is to try to get more ambiguous and abstract so we can include different events. So I am going to try things that sound unusual like:

Zzyzx11 (Talk) 07:55, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

2009[edit]

So where does 09's suggestions start? I found this via three hours of random clicking: 1918 - The RAF gets some Police help --293.xx.xxx.xx (talk) 06:29, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

What I like about this is that it includes a couple of GAs. I can provide the ref for the date. Lampman (talk) 22:43, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
That is great. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 23:02, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
IMO, it is more fun to list legitimate events in creative ways rather than list actual April Fools jokes like Spaghetti tree, Comic strip switcheroo, and Virgle. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 17:18, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Is it possible to work in the phrase "Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba lost his glasses"? Zzyzx11 (Talk) 04:18, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Of course, and the capture was made by sea beggars. Certes (talk) 22:59, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Reading this BBC link, it sounds more like it was an actual April Fools joke to gain publicity. Again, I would rather list legitimate events in creative ways rather than list actual April Fools jokes like Spaghetti tree, Comic strip switcheroo, and Virgle. Cheers. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 03:08, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

A rerun from last year: 2002 – Exactly one year after recognizing a new form of marriage, the Netherlands legalized euthanasia. Spikebrennan (talk) 17:40, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Some others[edit]

Just thought I'd provide a few items I found under 1 April 2008 at RTÉ. --candlewicke 20:30, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

  • 2008: Finland's foreign minister is sacked after engaging in textual contact with the leader of the Scandinavian Dolls erotic dance troupe. Surely too good to be true but maybe someone from the area might know about it?
  • 2008: Thousands of travellers are reunited with their belongings in London.
This is not Wikinews or ITN. Suggestions should still follow the OTD guidelines, like the ones posted above: The event should have some sort of historical significance. And there should be a selected article (bolded item), which needs to be updated to clearly state the event or day of the observance and the exact day it occurred. Cheers. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 00:09, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Ah right. Oh well. Back to ITN I go. --candlewicke 15:50, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

2010[edit]

To start the suggestions with Godwin's Law:

That's not overly funny. I think that needs a better rewording if it wants to get off the ground. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 00:06, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Alternate suggestion:

1924 - Adolf Hitler was placed in a cage --TitanOne (talk) 13:12, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Currently, the Beer Hall Putsch article seems to not specify the April 1 date, if it ever did. Zzyzx11 (talk) 02:20, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

From a discussion on AF-DYK:

Added to the holidays list. Zzyzx11 (talk) 02:20, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
The article is not tagged with "On this day" template on the talk. --Redtigerxyz Talk 12:05, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Chewing gum and baking powder:

  • 1891 - Wrigley Jr. opens a company, packaging chewing gum with each can of baking powder. --TitanOne (talk) 13:12, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Article is currently tagged with {{refimprove}}, which makes it ineligible under normal OTD conditions. Zzyzx11 (talk) 02:20, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Hale-Bopp, MMMBop, dubdopbop dubop doo..

Comet Hale-Bopp
Maybe it's me, but I'm not a big fan of that joke. I think I'll just leave it as that. Zzyzx11 (talk) 02:20, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Russian travels through

1981 - Russians move back time --TitanOne (talk) 13:27, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Yo Bro

2001 - Dutch Bromance was given the option to legalize --TitanOne (talk) 13:45, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm hesitant on that one because "Bromance" is not really a corresponding synonym to "same-sex relationship". A bromance is a non-sexual relationship, where a same-sex relationship may be. And at the same time, a bromance may involve a relationship between heterosexuals too.

1945 - An Iceberg also known as "Steel Rain" hits Okinawa. Orville Eastland (talk) 04:22, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Battle of Okinawa#Civilian losses is currently tagged with {{POV}}, , which makes it ineligible under normal OTD conditions. Zzyzx11 (talk) 02:20, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

1234 - An Englishman lost the Battle of the Curragh in Ireland, at the same place where an Australian would lose the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge in Scotland more than 700 years later.

I know this is late, but I think it's good. The original battle is real, I just created the article. The point here is that the location was used to film the battle scene in Braveheart. Lampman (talk) 23:56, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

2011[edit]

1998: The World Wide Web Consortium deprecates the Font tag, resulting in a world-wide shortage of HTML.Jarhed (talk) 00:37, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

1995: The World Wide Web Consortium proposes HTML 3.0 and the Arena web browser, starting the Browser wars and leading to many alternative implementations.Jarhed (talk) 00:58, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

As stated above, we should only feature "factual events occurring on 1 April". What article does it specifically say that the W3C deprecated the font tag on April 1? Which page does it mention that they released their proposals for HTML 3.0 and Arena on April 1? Thanks. Zzyzx11 (talk) 18:10, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Both happened in April, date not specified, otherwise factual, have a great day!Jarhed (talk) 19:06, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
  • And another to "translate":
English cricketer Wally Hammond set a record for the highest individual Test innings of 336 not out, during a Test match against New Zealand. Zzyzx11 (talk) 06:35, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
1933: Wally is found in the sports stadium, right in front of the cricket stumps -- 575Revolve Number and Word 14:32, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Nice. How about Wally is found in (whichever ground it was) having run 336 times, more than anyone else in recorded history or something to that effect—that way we actually get the notable event in. 86.6.193.43 (talk) 22:02, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The Metropolitan line of the London Underground is extended into rural Oxfordshire—okay, so it's very anachronistic and if you don't know your English geography that well it's probably not that arresting, but it's a start... 86.6.193.43 (talk) 22:06, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

A Few suggestions....

--Found5dollar (talk) 17:23, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Don't think the Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect should be done as that was an April Fool's hoax in the first place, but how about: 1854 - England is at the forefront of some hard times.-- 575Revolve 13:19, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Japanese Canadian internment doesn't have the April 1 date in there. howcheng {chat} 18:27, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
hu. yeah you are right. I just went down this page, April 01, and looked for things that could be easily twisted.--Found5dollar (talk) 18:42, 31 March 2011 (UTC)--Found5dollar (talk) 18:42, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
I do think that Hard Times should be one this year though.--Found5dollar (talk) 18:47, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, Hard Times has no footnotes. howcheng {chat} 22:36, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

2012 - we left this a bit late[edit]

1994 - A very long e is made. -- 575Revolve 15:25, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Well I'm not sure if it was used in any other year but looking at candidates above, I really love: "1865 - General Pickett ordered to hold Five Forks, loses 2,950." Sooo clever :D --Coin945 (talk) 16:31, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Five Forks is ineligible due to maintenance issues. howcheng {chat} 18:28, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Maybe also something like:

  • 2001 – Dutch marriage becomes a bit samey. [Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the Netherlands, the first country to allow it.]
  • 1961 - Britain's Got Talent contestant lets go of mummy issues. [Susan Boyle, Scottish singer and Britain's Got Talent contestant born]
  • 1875 – One tragic event fuels a crime-spree for the next 56 years. [ Edgar Wallace, English writer born - parents conceived him after an "Boris Becker broom cupboard" style sexual encounter, which everyone was too drunk fortunately to notice]
  • 1815 - One little baby put Germany in quite a state [Otto von Bismarck, German statesman (d. 1898) - unified numerous German states into a powerful German Empire]
  • 1986 – Scott began their long and arduous voyage to climb to the very top. [Hillary Scott, American singer (Lady Antebellum) born - climbed to top of charts with Need You Now.
  • 1999 - A huge chuck of land in Canada is Alerted of its independence. [Nunavut is established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern part of the Northwest Territories.]
    • Nunavut is already in the pool as "Under the terms of two laws passed by the Canadian Parliament in 1993, the Northwest Territories carved all of their inhabitants into two pieces."
  • 2011 - The Cruz star approaches dangerously close to Hollywood, leaving its mark on the town [Penélope Cruz becomes the first Spanish actress to receive a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame]. --Coin945 (talk) 16:31, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Cruz star would be brilliant, if it weren't for the fact that there isn't an actual Cruz Star. -- 575Revolve 16:54, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Hmm.... i don't think that'll be that much of an issue. Most people don't know the names of very many starts at all. I think they'll just assume it's an important star that they've just never heard of before.--Coin945 (talk) 17:11, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
None of the births will work. OTD rules only allow for births and natural deaths on centennial anniversaries. howcheng {chat} 18:23, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh..... well, any other ideas?--Coin945 (talk) 21:50, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
We already have 8 joke blurbs on Wikipedia:Selected anniversaries/April 1. Out of these, the Dutch one isn't bad, but as pointed out above, April 1, 2002 happens to be the date that the Netherlands legalized euthanasia (which is already included). Maybe we can combine those two ...
  • Five years after the Netherlands redefined marriage, they also said it was acceptable to kill one's spouse (I'm not sure about the "redefined marriage" bit .. seems like we're taking the language of the anti-SSM movement).
  • The Duke of Alba lost his glasses. (This doesn't qualify because of maintenance issues, but I like the joke.)
howcheng {chat} 18:28, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

2013[edit]

It's that time of year again. Let's get to work!!--Coin945 (talk) 17:02, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Wow, that's a lot of articles you've found. However, please keep in mind the ground rules, namely that births and deaths are only included on centennials. Articles that are already included on a different day are not eligible either. Also, articles that have yellow-level (or more severe) maintenance tags are not eligible to be included either. Thanks. howcheng {chat} 16:43, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

2014[edit]

I know this is a bit early, but I have some good ideas.

1914-A former orphan with mental problems who likes screwballs (Rube Waddell) dies in a sanitarium.(It's a centennial so it counts) 1939-Francophile Spanish overthrow the parliamentary government and inspire some of the weirdest paintings ever.Alexschmidt711 (talk) 18:02, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

2015[edit]

  • 325 - A 4-year-old becomes emperor of a Chinese dynasty.Eman235/talk 07:53, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
  • 2015 - Rovio, The creators of Angry Birds, released an April Fools Joke trailer for a fake new title in the franchise so forth called "Agri Birds". The next day, Rovio stated it was an April Fools joke.

2018[edit]

  • 1912 -Residents of Wilmette, Illinois awoke to discover that the Northwestern Elevated Railroad had extended its tracks into their town under the cover of darkness the previous night (not sure how to re-word it yet, but I'll try to figure out a way; perhaps make it sound like a small town was invaded by an paramilitary force, "Wilmette, Illinois was invaded by the NER"). SecretName101 (talk) 05:28, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
    • thought of a wording that might work, perhaps this: A train plowed past the end of its tracks into Wilmette, Illinois, making it sound like a train crash. Or perhaps, In Wilmette, Illinois, a train rode on tracks that hadn't existed (since they hadn't existed prior to that day, yet it'd sound like they didn't exist at all). Just spitballing. SecretName101 (talk) 05:42, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cambodian Troops Quarantine Quan'sul". 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-10.