This day in Mohawk Valley history: April 1

April 1 through the years


April 1, as “All Fools’ day,” is dying out. Humanity is beginning to realize that there isn’t any special day on the calendar on which it cannot be fooled, and the thing loses its funny aspect through daily repetition.

The Herkimer Democrat, Herkimer, N.Y.


All Fools’ Day.

Every fool has his day, they say, but the first day of April is set aside for a general observation. The name Aprilis was given to this month by the Romans, probably because the word comes from aperire, meaning to open, and because it is the season when the buds begin to burst forth. The Anglo-Saxons, however, called it Easter month and the Dutch labeled it grass month.

The custom on All Fools’ day is to send one on a bootless errand, and it dates back many, many years…There is no historical record of the origin of the day that can be said to be authentic.

But whatever its origin, the custom of playing proanks is almost universal. Some authorities claim that it is more general throughout Europe that it is in the United States. The Hindus practice the same tricks on the 31st of March each year, when they hold what is called the Huli Festival. In common with other holidays the spirit of the day is sometimes abused and persons are injured through wat the perpetrator intends shall be a harmless little joke. Harmless and innocent the fooleries are to be expected on the first of April, but injury to any person in any way under cloak of its being in the spirit of the day is to be condemned.

The Daily Republican, Johnstown, N.Y.