In Alaska, near the town of Sitka there is a dormant volcano called Mount Edgecumbe. The last eruption of this volcano was about 400 years ago.
In 1974 a joker chose Edgecumbe for his April Fool’s day trick. The name of Porky Bickar will always stay as one of the biggest pranksters in the history of Alaska. He tossed hundreds of automobile tires in the crater and burned them which produced big column of smoke. The locals believed that the volcano was erupting in front of their eyes and filled the streets expecting it to blow any moment. Local authorities were warned and the Coast Guard sent out a helicopter to investigate. Imagine the pilot’s surprise when he approached the cone of the volcano and saw a huge burning pile of tires as well as the words ‘APRIL FOOL’ spray-painted in huge black letters next to them.
The word about the prank spread around and it even got included in an Alaska Airlines ad campaign in 1975, focusing on the irreverent spirit of Alaskans. Bickar’s joke will probably never be forgotten: in 1978, four years after the Mount Edgecumbe joke, when Mount St. Helens was stirring back to life, a Sitka dweller wrote to Bickar that this time he’d gone too far.