Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Today's Word—Foolishness


Man’s Best Friend:

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
—Groucho Marx (1895-1977), comedian-philosopher

On This Day . . . . . . In 1700, April Fools’ Day was formalized in England, but pranksters had been observing the tradition for more than 100 years. Says the History Channel: “These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as ‘poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
“Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals such as
Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.
“April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with ‘hunting the gowk,’ in which people were sent on phony errands (
gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or ‘kick me’ signs on them.” See History Channel link and video.
. . . In 1945, American forces invaded Okinawa during World War II.
. . . In 2003, American troops "rescued" Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch from a hospital in Nasiriyah, Iraq, where she had been held prisoner since her unit was ambushed nine days earlier.

Birthdays: 58: Samuel Alito, Supreme Court Justice
79: Jane Powell, actress
76: Debbie Reynolds, actress
70: Ali MacGraw, actress
69: Phil Niekro, baseball hall of famer
60: Jimmy Cliff, reggae singer
83: Otto von Bismarck, German statesman (1815-1898)
47: Lon Chaney, "Igor," silent film actor (1883-1930)
60: Whittaker Chambers, journalist and accuser in the Alger Hiss case (1901-1961)

SPEAKING OF “Hilaria” . . . . .

This was sent to me by a well-meaning friend, perfect for the day.

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