Did you know that April starts on the same day as July in all years? And that on the same day as January in Leap Years. April ends on the same day as December in all years. April was added to the calendar by King Numa Pompilius around 700 BC. It has stuck around since.
April is known mainly for two events. One is the purely silly and jocular April Fool’s Day (April 1st). The other is the often dreaded day the tax man cometh, April 15th. Both Federal and State tax returns are due on that day, unless you file for an extension. April is also a lovely name for a girl, as witnessed by the lovely April Campbell, long time friend and associate, now pursuing a professorial career, while happily married and the mother of two handsome young boys.
The April birthstone is the diamond. The April flower is either the sweet pea or the daisy. Other April events are: National Poetry Writing Month, Sex Month, Jazz Appreciation Month, Easter, Arbor Day, World Health Day (April 7), Buddha’s Birthday (April 8), the Boston Marathon (3rd Monday), and Opening Day (first Sunday) for sailboats.
This is one of the best April Fool’s jokes ever perpetrated on mankind. I say man, since most men like baseball.
The April 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated contained a story about a new rookie pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. His name was Sidd Finch, and he could reportedly throw a baseball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. This was 65 mph faster than the previous record. Surprisingly, Sidd Finch had never even played the game before. Instead, he had mastered the “art of the pitch” in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the “great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa.” Mets fans celebrated their teams’ amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and they flooded Sports Illustrated with requests for more information. In reality this legendary player only existed in the imagination of the author of the article, George Plimpton, who left a clue in the sub-heading of the article: “He’s a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd’s deciding about yoga —and his future in baseball.” The first letter of each of these words, taken together, spelled “H-a-p-p-y A-p-r-i-l F-o-o-l-s D-a-y — A-h F-i-b”.
Second best hoax: The Taco Bell Corporation took out a full-page ad that appeared in six major newspapers on 1 April 1996, announcing it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known, he said, as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
Exactly one hundred years ago (1812), on tax day (April 15), the Titanic struck and iceberg and sank. The Peloponnesian War ended on April 25, 404 BC. On April 8, 1974, Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record with his 715th home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers.