The Museum of Hoaxes has made a top 100 list of April Fool’s Day hoaxes. This is the top 3, the rest you’ll find here.
The Spaghetti Tree (1957)
The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, there was a record spaghetti crop in Switzerland. Amazed viewers could see happy Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees, and many of them called the BBC desperate to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. The best advice the BBC could offer was to “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
Sidd Finch (1985)
Breaking news from Sports Illustrated: The Mets had recruited a new rookie pitcher, Sidd Finch, who could throw a baseball at an amazing 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. Even more amazingly, Sidd Finch had never played the game before, he had learned the “art of the pitch” in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the “great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa.” Mets fans couldn’t believe the luck of their team, and they flooded Sports Illustrated requesting more information.
Instant Colour TV (1962)
In 1962, the only Swedish TV channel broadcast in black and white. But on 1 April, it was announced on the news that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to colour. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their TV screen. The process was duly demonstrated and thousands of people got out their nylon stockings. Regular colour broadcasts in Sweden actually did start on April 1, in 1970.