April Fools' Day
The term "All Fools," was probably meant as a deliberate stab at All Saints (November 1) and All Souls (November 2) Day. Although the origin of playing practical jokes and pranks on this day is hazy, many folklorists believe it may go back to 16th-century France. At that time, New Year's Day was March 25, with a full week of partying and exchanging gifts until April 1. In 1582, the Gregorian calendar moved New Year's Day to January 1. Those who forgot or refused to honor the new calendar were the butts of jokes and ridicule. Weather folklore states, "If it thunders on All Fools Day, it brings good crops of corn and hay."
April comes from the Latin word aperio, meaning "to open or bud," because plants begin to grow this month.
All Fools' Day
Born : Fred & George Weasley (characters in Harry Potter series)
Born 1852: Edwin Austin Abbey (illustrator)
1853: In Ohio, the Cincinnati Fire Department became the first full-time, salaried fire department in the U.S.
Died 1917: Scott Joplin (ragtime musician & composer)
Born 1932: Debbie Reynolds (actress)
Born 1932: Gordon Jump (actor)
1945: The U.S. invasion of Okinawa began (WW II)
1954: The United States Air Force Academy is established
1960: The satellite Tiros I was launched from Cape Canaveral and eventually transmitted thousands of photographs showing the distribution of Earth's cloud formations
Born 1980: Randy Orton (professional wrestler)
Died 1984: Marvin Gaye (singer)
Born 1988: Courtney McCool (gymnast)
Died 1991: Martha Graham (dancer & choreographer)
1999: Nunavut territory created
2002: The Netherlands legalized euthanasia
2007: French acrobat Willy Martignon broke the world record for longest-distance somersaulting slam dunk
Died 2010: John Forsythe (actor)
Died 2015: Misao Okawa (Japanese woman who was recognized as the world's oldest person at the time. She was born on March 5, 1898, and died at age 117.)