...and April Fools' Day

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Entries - Entry Category: ...and April Fools' Day - Starting with K

KATV Broadcast Interruption of 1959

On April 1, 1959, the audio portion of the evening’s KATV news broadcast was overridden by a pirated signal in which someone claiming to be the late Civil War Union general and Arkansas governor Powell Clayton urged his listeners to change their ways to “avoid the disaster which threatens your state.” Now widely regarded as a hoax or prank, the broadcast interruption at the time fueled an array of segregationist conspiracy theories and sparked legislative threats to outlaw the medium of television in the state of Arkansas.   The broadcast of KATV’s 6:00 p.m. news segment began as usual that Wednesday night. Approximately three minutes into the news, while the newscasters were covering the latest events at the legislature, the audio …