China boat engine manufacturers tell you historians also have linked April Fools' Day to festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in early Rome at the end of March and involved individuals dressing up in disguises.
There's also speculation that April Fools' Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.
April Fools' Day spread through Britain during the 18th century. Back in Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, beginning with"hunting the gowk," where individuals were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a logo for fool) and followed closely by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people's derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or"kick me" signs on them.
These days, individuals have gone to amazing lengths to make elaborate April Fools' Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and Internet sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences.
In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers had been experiencing a listing spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were duped. Back in 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it conducted a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour.
Back in 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant series, tricked people when it declared it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and planned to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King promoted a"Left-Handed Whopper," dozens of clueless customers asked the imitation sandwich.