April Fools' pranks from around the world: Top 10
April Fools' pranks and jokes are happening around the world today, from Iraq to Sweden. Ever hear about the prank Uday pulled on his dad Saddam Hussein?
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5. GREECE: 1995: Socrates, the obstinate old philosopher who drank hemlock poison rather than curtail his free speech, is buried in an unknown place. In 1995 the Greek Ministry of Culture said it found his tomb near the base of the Acropolis during excavation for the Athens metro system. A vase containing traces of hemlock was reportedly in the tomb, too. The French news wire Agence France-Presse reported the prank as news.Skip to next paragraph
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4. ITALY: 1919: Venice woke one April 1 to find horse manure littering the streets, odd since the city of canals had few horses. The British prankster Horace de Vere Cole, who was honeymooning in Venice, had transported a load of manure from the mainland the night before with the help of a gondolier and had then deposited small piles of it throughout the Piazza.
3. CHINA: 1993: Getting in on the liberal fun, state newspaper The China Youth Daily announced those with doctorate degrees were exempt from one-child limits. According to an article, doctorates’ children would reduce the need for foreign experts. As with the joke in Greece, the news wire Agence France-Presse reported it as true. The next day, a Beijing newspaper ran an editorial stating that April Fools' jokes "are an extremely bad influence."
2. GERMANY: 1915: In the midst of World War I, a French plane flew over the Germans and dropped what appeared to be a huge bomb. Rightfully alarmed, the German soldiers fled. But instead of an explosion, there was a bounce. The Germans crept back to the load and discovered it was a football with a note that read, "April Fool!"
(We can't find any source aside from the Museum of Hoaxes for that last one – if you can shed any light on it, please send us a comment.)
1. IRAQ: 1998: Even in Iraq they celebrate April Fools' Day, calling it Kithbet Neesan, or April Lie. When Saddam Hussein was still in power, an Iraqi newspaper owned by his son, Uday, declared on its front page that President Clinton said ''it was time for lifting the sanctions.'' (The UN had imposed sanctions after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.) Saddam was probably not amused.