Here’s one of the ten classic April Fool’s pranks from the past 50 years shared by Discovery News, among a pretty great list. I remember chuckling at news of this prank back when it occurred, but I enjoyed finally reading the original Pi hoax article and apology here.
As with many famous April Fool’s pranks, more than half of the fun of this one was in the indignation and active protests of those fooled into thinking that Pi might be be up on the legislative chopping block, which proved a more timeless memory than the subject of the political satire itself.
In a 1998 a a newsletter titled “New Mexicans for Science and Reason” claimed that Alabama’s legislature was going to make things simpler for everybody and round off pi to 3.
The piece was meant to be a satire of the debate over teaching evolution in New Mexico public schools. But, like all good post-Internet pranks, the joke was taken seriously by some and widely circulated online.