April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, with roots dating back to 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII ordered the adoption of a new calendar. On the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Day occurred on January 1st, rather than April 1st—the date previously hailed as New Year’s Day by the older Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar was slow to catch on. Many countries—Norway, Germany, England, and Denmark—didn’t recognize January 1st as New Year’s until the 1700s. Many French people also did not accept the change, and their contemporaries began to play practical jokes on them for their ignorance of the calendar. The practice became popular in England as well as the American colonies, thus giving birth to April Fool’s Day.
As most of us can attest, there has been no lack of ingenuity in honoring this “foolish” holiday. Some notable nationwide hoaxes include the popular fast-food chain Taco Bell claiming they had purchased the Liberty Bell in 1996 with plans to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. And then there was the time when, in 2007, Google announced that it had developed technology that could deliver the Internet via plumbing systems, rather than phone lines, at a much faster speed.
Someone who greatly enjoyed playing tricks was Norman Rockwell. In the 1940s, he created three unforgettable covers for the Post celebrating the holiday, each with “errors” left by the playful illustrator.
This April 1943 cover (known as April Fool, 1943, Checkers, or The Game) contained at least 45 errors. Can you find them?