This is a bit late, but I’m just now catching up on some blog lurking.
Rotten With Perfection displays what was the “beginning of April Fool’s:”
In 1983, Boston Univ history prof Joseph Boskin could be read and seen via a number of news outlets–the Today Show, newspapers across the country–pontificating on the little-known history of April fool’s day. The video here relays the story he told. The AP had contacted Boskin and called upon him to give them some info about the “holiday.” Boskin admitted he was no expert, but said yes (jokingly). The story of King Kugel was spun nationwide as the origin of April fool’s–that is, until Boskin used it in his classes as an example of the need to be a discerning audience. He made the whole thing up.
Of course, I say it also shows the persuasiveness of being a so-called expert on a subject. What they’re telling you might be complete bunk, but if they’re the authority on the matter, then it’s still tempting to listen to them.