April 1 used to be the one day a year when people would all try to get each other to believe made-up stories, legends, hoaxes and more.

If you’re on social media that’s every day now, amirite?

But even the gigantic whoppers we hear about today don’t often measure up to what happened on this day in 1906.

That’s when the newspapers in Chicago decided to tell everyone the city was being attacked by dinosaurs.

Keep in mind that in 1906, there was no internet, no TV, no radio.

Unless they somehow had a telegraph in their house, people found out what was happening through word or mouth or from newspapers and magazines.

So it must have been quite something to see a big headline that read “CHICAGO INVADED BY HORDES OF PREHISTORIC MONSTERS DEALING DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.”

There were two full pages, complete with pictures, explaining how there had been reports around the Great Lakes that odd and huge creatures had been moving south from the forests of Canada, but Chicago had ignored the reports and so the Windy City was caught completely by surprise when the creatures arrived.

Fortunately, the report claimed, some of the plant eating dinos were just big, dumb obstacles that stared at the humans bustling around them and didn’t understand the car horns and police whistles trying to get them to move.

Unfortunately, the article continued, it wasn’t too long before the rest of the dinosaurs showed up.

They got into a gigantic fight with the animals at the city zoo and then started wrecking everything in sight.

Plesiosaurs took over Lake Michigan.

Huge swarms of pterodactyls flew overhead.

And, of course, two T-Rex started fighting on top of the Montgomery Ward building, which eventually knocked it over.

The newspaper said the day was saved when the Secretary of War sent artillery units and President Theodore Roosevelt sent some submarines.

The human counterattack finished off all the monsters, whose carcasses were hauled away by tugboat.

And somehow, after five weeks of catastrophic damage and carnage, the people of Chicago remained calm, worked together without incident and managed to rebuild the city to look just as it was before!

I don’t know whether any of this was convincing enough to fool people that the city of Chicago had been destroyed by dinosaurs and rebuilt.

But I’ll say this: whether or not it was a believable hoax, it sure was a thorough one.

It’s Easter Monday, and in the village of Hallaton, Leicestershire, England, it’s the day for Bottle Kicking.

This is a complex competition with lots of rules, but essentially two teams, one from Hallaton and one from neighboring Medbourne, try to move large bottles or casks across several local streams.

It’s part of a very old tradition, it involves ale, and it can get very physical.

So be careful out there!

April 1, 1906: Chicago invaded by hordes of prehistoric monsters dealing death and destruction (Chicago Tribune)

Bottle Kicking in Hallaton (Amusing Planet)

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