The biggest April Fools' Day hoax!
Today is April Fools' Day! A day when people play tricks on their friends who may have forgotten to check the date in the morning.
Even a few organizations join in the fun! Many newspapers, television stations and internet sites (like Google) have pulled April Fools' Day pranks, including the famous BBC spaghetti tree hoax.
On April 1st, 1957, an estimated 8 million people watched the 3 minute report on television. In the 1950s, spaghetti was not an everyday food in Britain and few people knew how it was produced. Watch it yourself in the following video!
Read the transcript below!
- On April Fools' Day of 1957, the BBC ran a segment that to this day is known as "the biggest hoax that a reputable news station has ever pulled"
- But it's simply that the past winter, one of the mildest in living memory, has had its effect in other ways as well
- Most important of all, it's resulted in an exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop
- The last two weeks of March are an anxious time for the spaghetti farmer
- There is always the chance of a late frost, which while not entirely ruining the crop, generally impairs the flavor and makes it difficult for him to obtain top prices in world markets
- But now these dangers are over and the spaghetti harvest goes forward
- Spaghetti cultivation here in Switzerland is not, of course, carried out on anything like the tremendous scale of the Italian industry
- Many of you I am sure will have seen pictures of the vast spaghetti plantations in the Po Valley
- For the Swiss, however, it tends to be more of a family affair
- Another reason why this may be a bumper year lies in the virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil, the tiny creature whose depredations have caused much concern in the past
- After picking, the spaghetti is laid out to dry in the warm Alpine sun
- Many people are often puzzled by the fact that spaghetti is produced at such uniform length
- But this is the result of many years of patient endeavor by plant breeders who have succeeded in producing the perfect spaghetti
- And now the harvest is marked by a traditional meal
- Toasts to the new crop are drunk in these boccalinoes
- And then the waiters enter bearing the ceremonial dish
- And it is, of course, spaghetti picked earlier in the day, dried in the sun and so brought fresh from garden to table at the very peak of condition
- For those who love this dish, there is nothing like real homegrown spaghetti
- After the story ran, hundreds of people called in to ask how to grow their own spaghetti trees
- The BBC's response: place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best