Grateful American® Foundation

Who popularized the tradition of April Fools’ Day?

April 1st

aprilfoolsdayApril 1, 1700 — Today, English pranksters began popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Also called All Fools’ Day, this holiday has been celebrated for centuries by different cultures. Some historians speculate the concept dates to 1582.

That is when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563.

Those who were slow to get the news — or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to Jan. 1 — continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 and became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

Words of Wisdom

This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.

Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson"

Today in History

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