All kidding aside, April Fools’ Day has an origin story…

April 1, 2024 by  
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You may love it or hate it, but by the end of every 1st of April you likely have been “pranked”. During my years of teaching 7th-9th graders, rather than dread the endless attempts to fool me, I made it my quest to laugh when I fell victim to their practical jokes… and to one-up-them before the bell signaling it was time for them to move on to their next “suspecting” victim tolled. I can’t say I always won the day, but when it came to working with 13-15 year-olds, laughter really was good medicine.

This point was often driven home by midday as those who had not embraced a more jovial attitude toward, or appreciation for, their student’s amazing creativity, whined and fussed and wondered aloud: “Who in the world ever thought this was a good idea?”

Note: Their actual comments were a little more graphic, but we endeavor to keep this space family friendly.

Sadly, time would show a direct correlation between those who stood their stoic ground and those who filed for early retirement. Good people – poor career choice.

Those days are long past, but as I was contemplating this “unofficial” holiday, I reflected back upon their angst and wondered if there was in fact a source responsible for their great displeasure. Thanks to the wonderful search engine hosted by The New York Times, I was able to find a few clues in an article they published on April 2, 1871 – which is shown in its entirety below. Please enjoy.

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