Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Samford Crimson -- 1954 April Fool's Day Edition

Scholars tend to disagree upon where and when the practice of April Fool's Day actually began. Some believe that it has its roots in older springtime festivals such as the Roman "Hilaria."  Others believe that it originated in the late 16th century, when the Gregorian Calendar was established and moved New Year's Day to January 1st -- those who continued to celebrate the new year on April 1st (New Year's Day according to the Julian Calendar) were made fun of by being tricked into believing hoaxes and/or sent on "fool's errands."  There are also those who believe it may have been established in reference to the "Nun's Priest's Tale" from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales from 1392.

Whatever its origins, April Fool's Day is celebrated far and wide as individuals take delight in playing (mostly) harmless pranks upon their friends and neighbors around the world... and as this front page from 1954 clearly shows, the Samford Crimson is no stranger to springtime shenanigans.

Image courtesy of the Samford University Library Special Collection.

Hoax headlines include the decision to keep Howard College in East Lake (the move was actually approved in November 1952), a dog being named "Faculty Member of the Week," and a new series of campus rules instructing (among other things) "loafing must be done in an insignificant place; for example, the president's office."

Being skeptical of what you read/see/hear is always advisable, but we recommend a little extra skepticism today.

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