On Saturday, April 1, the Society will hold a workshop for kids on – of course – the history and fun of April Fools’ Day, which is celebrated by sending people on fruitless errands, giving inedible treats, and other pranks. According to the Library of Congress, the origins of the strange custom of playing pranks on April 1 is murky, though the practice was known in Renaissance Europe and probably has roots older than that. Museum Educator Lola Chen will lead the fun with stories of hoaxes and pranks, and will likely tell the kids about the famous Swiss spaghetti harvest of 1957. Inspired by that famous hoax, the project of the day is growing spaghetti in a jar. Kids will help make their snack, Mud Pie.
Suggested for ages 6 – 12. Members: $10, maximum $25 per family; Non-members $15, maximum $35 per family. Space is limited — please register by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-762-7257. You can also register online here:
Did You Know?
“Another side to the April Fools’ holiday, especially in America, is that schoolchildren love to pull pranks on their teachers. One common prank was to lock the teacher out of the school altogether. Dr. Samuel Lathan was born in 1842 in rural South Carolina. In a 1938 interview conducted by the WPA, he recalled his own school days:
April the 1st was dreaded by most rural school teachers. The pupils would get inside and bar the teacher out. The teacher, who didn’t act on the principle that discretion is the better part of valor, generally got the worst of it. Mr. Douglass soon learned this, and, on April Fools’ Day, he would walk to the school, perceive the situation, laughingly announce there would be no school until the morrow, and leave.” –Library of congress