Little is known about the origin of this April tradition, but the predominant theory dates from about 1582, the year France adopted the Gregorian calendar, which switched the beginning of the year from what’s now the end of March to the first of January. Some folks, out of ignorance or stubbornness or both, continued to ring in the New Year on April 1. They were made the target of jokes and pranks on account of their foolishness. Hence, they were April Fools.
The custom of setting aside a day for the playing of harmless pranks upon one’s neighbors has historically been relatively common around the world. It’s supposed to be fun, but I wonder.
As well as people playing pranks on one another on April Fools’ Day, elaborate practical jokes have appeared on radio and TV stations, and in newspapers, and have been performed by large corporations. In one famous prank, The BBC broadcast a film in their current affairs series claiming to show Swiss farmers picking freshly grown spaghetti, in what they called “The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.”
The BBC was overwhelmed with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant forcing them to admit the film was a hoax.
In 1938, on Halloween Eve, “War of the Worlds,” a science fiction novel by H.G. Wells, was dramatized on a CBS radio program. At the beginning, it was announced that the program was an adaptation of this novel. However, it caused panic for those listeners, who tuned in late, not knowing the Martian invasion was fictional.
This panic was bolstered by fictitious news bulletins, which periodically interrupted the broadcast. “Odd explosions observed on Mars, A strange cylindrical object falling from the sky, Martians using heat rays, War machines spouting poisonous gas.”
The program has become famous for supposedly tricking some listeners into believing that a Martian invasion was actually taking place. Only at the thirty-minute break in the show, did people realize it was only a drama.
Widespread outrage was expressed in the media. It was described as deceptive leading to an outcry against the broadcasters.
There are mixed opinions concerning April Fools’ Day. Some say it is good for one’s health encouraging fun and laughter, thereby relieving strain and stress. Others label it as being creepy and manipulative, rude and a little nasty and deceitful
Even as a fun-loving child I must admit that I don’t remember April Fools’ Day ever playing any kind of role in my life. In a way, I was a sensitive, self-conscious child, who would not have taken kindly to pranks aimed at me, and as an adult, I will own that I still have difficulty with being the brunt of a joke. The joke is on me, however, for this of course, makes me a prime target.
If our jokes and pranks, and hoaxes could be confined to innocent fun, all would be well, but in today’s world, hoaxes have become very serious, and hurtful. One of the most recent examples being the fiasco in Chicago, where hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent, and hundreds of hours of law enforcement energy wasted. You can’t laugh that one off. You can’t slap someone on the back and shout, “April Fools!” Although, I’m imagining that the perpetrator is doing that very thing.
Our media is no longer reporting the news. It seems, at times, that they are making it up, based on hearsay and innuendo. Mr. Trump calls it “Fake News.” You can think what you will of him, but the press does not have the right to invent or even slant the news in one direction or another. Talk about a hoax!
I am disturbed and confused at the climate in our country today, and I am not talking about “Global Warming.” We have become hateful, critical, and abusive toward each other. There was a time when we at least honored the office of our Congressmen, our President, or Supreme Court Justice. No more! Everyone is fair game.
Our beloved America is on a slippery slope headed downhill at breakneck speed. We are no longer admired by the world. We are no longer held in high esteem. We are no longer in love with ourselves. I certainly can’t love the things that are going on today. We can say, “I love America!” But, we, you and I, are America. The things we do and say—that is America. So where does that leave us?
Remember the attack on our country on September 1, 2001? Our Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol building singing “God Bless America.” It was a heart bursting sight. They were united for a brief time, but then it was back to business as usual.
In I Timothy 2:1-2, God says to us, “Here are my directions: Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all He is going to do for them. Pray in this way for KINGS AND ALL OTHERS IN AUTHORITY over us, or are in places of high responsibility, (Presidents, congressmen, justices…) so that we can live in peace and quietness spending our time in Godly living…” LB
This is the solution to our dilemma! This is God’s direction to us. Pray for your family, your neighbors and our leaders, especially those whom you do not like. PRAY!
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!