Daily Almanac for Monday, April 1, 2024, April Fools Day!

By Mariana Smithfield

(courtesy Tumblr.com)
Former USA Olympic artistic gymnast Courtney McCool-Griffeth, is 36 today. (courtesy LSU Athletics)


Courtney Lynn McCool-Griffeth (born April 1, 1988) is an American former artistic gymnast who competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics. She was coached by Al and Armine Fong of Great American Gymnastic Express.

From 2007–2010, McCool competed for the University of Georgia. In that time, the team won three NCAA national titles.[3] She is currently an assistant coach and choreographer for the LSU Tigers team.

Elite gymnastics career

McCool was the runner-up in the junior division of the 2003 National Championships and won a silver medal on vault at the 2003 Pan American Games. The following year, her first as a senior international elite, she was the runner-up at the American Cup and the all-around champion at the Olympic Test Event in Athens. She was the only gymnast at the Test Event to qualify for all four event finals, and she won a silver medal on vault and bronze on the uneven bars. She then placed fourth in the all-around at the National Championships and second at the Olympic Trials, earning a spot on the Olympic team.

At the Olympics, McCool competed all four events in the qualification round, but faltered on beam and floor and was excluded from the team finals lineup. The United States team won the silver medal behind Romania.

After the Olympics, McCool joined the T.J. Maxx Tour of Olympic Champions, a nationwide gymnastics exhibition tour. However, after finding out that the tour would not be stopping in her hometown, Kansas City, she joined the Rock ‘N Roll Gymnastics Challenge, a rival tour, for its Kansas City show. T.J. Maxx officials said they had not given McCool permission to do so, and dropped her from the rest of the tour.

Late in 2004, it emerged that McCool had been suffering from Kienbock’s disease, a wrist condition that required surgery and prevented her from performing in further post-Olympic exhibitions.


April comes from the Latin word aperio, meaning “to open or bud,” because plants begin to grow this month. Enjoy the Almanac’s article all about April!

The term “All Fools,” was probably meant as a deliberate stab at All Saints (November 1) and All Souls (November 2) Day.

Although the origin of playing practical jokes and pranks on this day is hazy, many folklorists believe it may go back to 16th-century France. At that time, New Year’s Day was March 25, with a full week of partying and exchanging gifts until April 1. In 1582, the Gregorian calendar moved New Year’s Day to January 1. Those who forgot or refused to honor the new calendar were teasingly called, “April Fool!”

Weather folklore states, “If it thunders on All Fools Day, it brings good crops of corn and hay.”

See our full article on the humor and history of April Fools’ Day!

Question of the Day

Is there a “green flash” in the Caribbean at sunset? I have heard of it but never seen it.

On rare occasions, the Sun may look bright green for a moment as its last tip is setting. This green flash is caused by the greater refraction of the green wave band; the red rays of light are hidden below the horizon, and the blue and violet are scattered in the atmosphere. The flash is best seen when the air is cloudless and the horizon is well-defined, as on an ocean.

Advice of the Day

We have all been fools once in our lives.

Home Hint of the Day

Rubbing with a nail file will remove small spots from suede.

Word of the Day

Celestial equator

The circle around the celestial sphere that is halfway between the celestial poles. It can be thought of as the plane of Earth’s equator projected out onto the sphere.

Puzzle of the Day

What kind of shoes do frogs wear?



  • Edwin Austin Abbey (illustrator) – 
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff (Russian composer ) – 
  • Gordon Jump (actor) – 
  • Debbie Reynolds (actress) – 
  • Randy Orton (professional wrestler) – 
  • Courtney McCool (gymnast) – 


  • Scott Joplin (ragtime musician & composer) – 
  • Marvin Gaye (singer) – 
  • Martha Graham (dancer & choreographer) – 
  • John Forsythe (actor) – 
  • Misao Okawa (Japanese woman who was recognized as the world’s oldest person at the time. She was born on March 5, 1898, and died at age 117.) – 
  • Dan Robbins (artist who created paint-by-numbers pictures) – 


  • In Ohio, the Cincinnati Fire Department became the first full-time, salaried fire department in the U.S.– 
  • The U.S. invasion of Okinawa began (WW II)– 
  • The United States Air Force Academy is established– 
  • The satellite Tiros I was launched from Cape Canaveral and eventually transmitted thousands of photographs showing the distribution of Earth’s cloud formations– 
  • Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer, Inc.– 
  • Nunavut territory created– 
  • The Netherlands legalized euthanasia– 
  • French acrobat Willy Martignon broke the world record for longest-distance somersaulting slam dunk– 


  • April Fool’s Day Blizzard in the Dakotas, heavy drifting snow– 
  • Houston, Texas, got its first natural waterspout as an April Fools Day joke from Mother Nature, when a high-velocity tornado hit the downtown area and broke into the water table.– 
  • April Fool’s cold, -34 degrees F in Bergland, Michigan, and 16 degrees F in Georgia– 
  • 27 degrees F, Atlanta, Georgia– 
  • Blizzard left 37 inches of snow in East Jewett, New York– 


COURTESY www.almanac.com