I have to admit that I've never been a fan of April Fool's Day. It seems to bring out the worst in people who use it as an excuse to behave in ways that would otherwise be unacceptable. I like a good joke but the the best pranks are those that don't bring distress to others. This example of a distressing "prank" was found on the web site Genealogy Bank. Published in the Maine Cultivator and Hallowell Gazette (Hallowell, ME) on April 15, 1843.
"An Unpleasant Joke. - On April-fool day the downward train of cars from Nashua came suddenly in sight of a man reposing on the track. The shriek was let off and the engine reversed but to no purpose. The cars passed over the man and came to a halt. The passengers rushed out with alarm depicted on every countenance, when suddenly the train of feeling was reversed by the discovery that the man was stuffed with straw. Haw! haw! They crawled into the cars and podged along."