While attempting to showcase this day of hoax and trickery, of practical joke and parody, we sadly discovered that Dartmouth historically hasn’t been all that big on April Fool’s Day.
However, for many years the editorial board of The Dartmouth took full advantage of its powers before turning the newspaper over to the new board by publishing a spoof issue late in fall term. Campus, national and international events and people were all potential targets. In light of current renovations to the Hanover Inn, it’s interesting to note that one year The D reported that the College was turning the Inn into a dorm, rooms going to the students who submitted the best essays on why they deserved to live like kings. The College got rid of varsity hockey in favor of figure skating, appointed George Steinbrenner as Athletic Director, and removed the bells from Baker tower because, well, the chimes were never on the right hour anyway and the bonging was just so annoying. On the world stage, The D announced there had been worldwide peace for a full 20 seconds one year, and reported on Quebec’s invasion of Ontario in another.
The humor was not always appreciated, and some readers found certain columns offensive. Still other articles were so subtle that one reader (me) briefly believed that the College actually was going to close, and sell, all fraternity houses. However, I doubt anyone took The D’s claim seriously when they reported that after 191 years in business, they would cease publishing; obviously they were having way too much fun for that to be true.