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April Fools Day in July


April Fools Day came late for the residents of New Rockford in 1915. On this day 91 years ago, the New Rockford Transcript reported that an old man, who made it apparent that he was crippled and could not speak, appeared in the growing town of New Rockford. Many New Rockford residents sympathetically gave this kind, clean-shaven, and well-dressed man anywhere from ten to twenty-five cents. Yet, no one knew who this man was or where he came from.

It wasn’t until later that day that the man finally revealed his identity. The townspeople were surprised–and entertained–to find that the man was in fact longtime New Rockford resident Michael O’Keefe, or simply “Mike,” as everyone both young and old had always known him. Apparently, earlier that morning, Mike had gone to the barber and had his beard, which was as “old as memory,” shaven clean off. Even Mike’s closest friends were fooled by Mike’s new, unrecognizable appearance.

By Tessa Sandstrom

Source: The New Rockford Transcript. July 2, 1915