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April Fool’s Fun
On April 1, 1957, the British news show Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland.
The audience heard Richard Dimbleby, the show’s highly respected anchor, discussing the details of the spaghetti crop as they watched video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets.
The segment concluded with the assurance that, “For those who love this dish, there’s nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti.”
The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax generated an enormous response. Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this query the BBC diplomatically replied, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
To this day, the Panorama broadcast remains one of the most famous and popular April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time. It is also believed to be the first time the medium of television was used to stage an April Fool’s Day hoax.
“A fool may be known by six things: anger without cause; speech without profit; change without progress; inquiry without object; putting trust in a stranger; and mistaking foes for friends.”
~ Arabian Proverb
Herschel Bentley is the Executive Director of National Credit Federation. He has 30 years experience in the credit, mortgage and real estate markets and loves helping people improve their credit and seeing referral sources grow their business.
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