A look at some pranks at MSU
Every year on April Fools’ Day, people around the globe either succeed or fail at pranking their loved ones, friends or even random people.
The prank holiday first became popular on April 1, 1700, by English pranksters who played tricks on each other. This eventually spread to the U.S.
MSU isn't spared from the tradition, as pranks at the first land grant college have taken place not only on April Fools’ Day, but throughout its history.
After going through the MSU Archives and Historical Collections, here are some of the pranks that have been pulled throughout the years since the university was called the
Students use Dynamite
On June 15, 1907, the Detroit Free Press reported of an explosion that occurred in Ingham County.
That explosion came from M.A.C. students, who caused the explosion by lighting up dynamite for a celebration of the last day of college.
The students planted the dynamite “at the back of Wells Hall” and damaged surrounding M.A.C. buildings, causing $100 in damage.
Nothing was reported about what happened to the students who set off the dynamite.
What goes around comes around
On June 16, 1906, during the annual nightshirt parade with juniors wearing robes participating in the parade's festivities, the underclassmen in Williams Hall had a welcoming present for the upperclassmen, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press.
The underclassman placed planks on the stairways that led to the second floor, and wetted them down with lime to make the scaling of these planks more difficult.
The underclassmen also stole a water tank from the M.A.C. farm barn that held “(30) barrels of water” and sprayed water on the juniors trying to scale the planks.
They also had people blocking the fire exits located at the bottom of the staircases to ensure nobody could try to escape.
But after the water ran out, the juniors fought back.
The juniors filled up the water tank, gathered up the sophomores and started dunking them in the tank.
To add on to the sophomores' nightmares, during the week the juniors also put a snapping turtle in the bed of one of the underclassmen.
The snapping turtle was eventually led away from Williams Hall by then-university president Jonathan L. Snyder.
Fake phone repairman
According to the MSU Archives, on April 7, 1975, then-MSU sophomore Jerry Grigar became a pawn in a scheme set up by his friends.
In the days of landline phones in dorm rooms, Grigar’s friends called girls’ rooms in another residence hall with two separate phones, then put the two phones together so the girls would talked to each other, confused as to why they were talking to somebody they didn’t dial.
One of Grigar’s friends eventually broke into the conversation between the girls, introducing himself as an employee of the telephone company that supplied the phones on campus and saying the company had trouble with the phones and planned to send a repairman.
Wearing dungarees and a carpenter’s belt, Grigar then went into the girls’ room and rigged the phones.
However, the girls were suspicious and began questioning Grigar, who decided it was time to leave.
The prank worked, as both of the girls’ phones wouldn’t stop ringing.
Feeling guilty about the prank,
Returning to the girls’ residence hall, Grigar was instead met by a police officer. This led Grigar to explain to the officer that it was all just a prank.
None of Grigar’s friends got in trouble.