Daily TWiP ArchivesSomething interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.
More in "Daily TWiP"
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 23: National Mole Day
- Daily TWiP - June 18: International Picnic Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30, 1859: The Great Blondin crosses Niagara Falls on a tightrope
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 1, 1761: Famed wax sculptor Madame Tussaud born
- Daily TWiP - Dec. 4: National Cookie Day
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 8: National Fluffernutter Day
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 7, 1936: "Benjamin," the last thylacine, dies
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 12, 1933: First photograph of the Loch Ness Monster taken
- Daily TWiP - April 1, 1957: The BBC pulls off its infamous spaghetti tree hoax
- Daily TWiP - April 11, 1954: The most boring day of the 20th century
- Daily TWiP - May 3, 1978: The first spam email is sent
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 28, 1939: The non-word “dord” is discovered in Webster’s New International Dictionary
- Daily TWiP - March 3, 1931: "The Star-Spangled Banner," set to the tune of an English drinking song, becomes the U.S. national anthem
- Daily TWiP - May 16, 1777: The American with the most valuable autograph is fatally wounded in a duel
- Daily TWiP - May 25: Towel Day and Geek Pride Day
- Daily TWiP - June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day
- Daily TWiP - July 22: Spoonerism Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 13: International Left-Handers' Day
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 23, 1784: The short-lived state of Franklin declares its independence from North Carolina
- Daily TWiP - Feb. 5, 1897: The Indiana General Assembly unanimously votes to change the value of pi
- Daily TWiP - March 10: International Day of Awesomeness and Chuck Norris' birthday
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 25: National Irish Coffee Day
- Daily TWiP - Nov. 30, 1954: Ann Hodges becomes the first person hit by a meteorite
- Daily TWiP - Oct. 6, 1582 does not happen in certain countries
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 17, 1859: Joshua A. Norton declares himself Emperor of the United States
- Daily TWiP - Sept. 30, 2004: First images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken
- Daily TWiP - Aug. 27, 1896: The shortest war in recorded history is fought
- Daily TWiP - July 30, 1419: Czechs chuck politicians (literally) during the First Defenestration of Prague
- Daily TWiP - July 21, 356 B.C.: Herostratus destroys one of the Seven Wonders of the World to ensure his own fame
- Daily TWiP - May 14: National Dance Like A Chicken Day
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 26, 2004: Dead whale unexpectedly explodes in Tainan, Taiwan
- Daily TWiP - Jan. 8, 1835: U.S. national debt hits zero for the first and only time
Daily TWiP – April 1, 1957: The BBC pulls off its infamous spaghetti tree hoax
April Fools’ Day just wouldn’t be April Fools’ Day without a prank or two. The BBC pulled off one of the most memorable hoaxes in holiday history April 1, 1957 when they featured a segment on the Swiss spaghetti harvest on the current affairs program “Panorama.”
The three-minute segment showed a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti noodles from their “spaghetti trees.” Renowned broadcaster Richard Dimbleby provided the narration, describing how the combination of a mild winter and limited interference from the dreaded spaghetti weevil had resulted in a bumper crop for the region.
The clip also included footage of a traditional spaghetti harvest festival and an explanation of how the spaghetti trees had been crossbred in order to produce noodles of just the right length.
At the time, spaghetti was not widely consumed in the United Kingdom, with most British considering it a foreign delicacy. So little was known about the true origins of spaghetti that the next day, telephones at the BBC were ringing off the hook with questions from curious viewers.
Some expressed doubt about the veracity of the program while others were eager for more detailed information. Some even asked how they could 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.”
You can watch the infamous spaghetti tree hoax here. To this day, it is considered one of the most successful April Fools’ pranks ever pulled by a reputable news organization.
– Teresa Santoski
Originally published April 1, 2011.