April Fool’s 1958 Joke on William Duncan Loy (1922-2005)

After much delay (mainly due to “technical difficulties” that even knocked out all my websites for awhile) finally this site is back online with a new post.

William Duncan Loy, Jr. was son of William Duncan Loy, Sr., son of John Alexander Loy, son of Milton Loy, son of Jacob Loy, son of John Loy, son of Martin Loy (to America 1741). Although W.D. Jr. was in same generation as my grandmother (née Loy), being her 5th cousin, he just under 22 months older than my dad. W. D. Jr.’s great-grandfather Milton’s first cousin David Loy (son of John Jr. son of John, son of Martin), shared the same April birth month and day as W. D. Jr., which is also my birth month and day.

The following news article by the United Press appeared in various newspapers around the U.S. and even in Windsor, Ontario in Canada; in addition to where it occurred in Charlotte, NC. Considering the post-911 world of today, with constant danger of being targeted, this prank would have been received more threatening were it to happen today, possibly with Federal, not just local, authorities being involved to press criminal charges. But in 1958 explosive scares were rare. Although the “Red Scare” with Soviet missiles was a present fear, it was also the Space Age, the moon yet to be explored, and anything “other worldly” could happen…such as visitation from another planet “à la” Twilight Zone, which debuted the following year. So, who knows, UFO “visitation” might have been what the pranksters intended.

From Wednesday, 2 April 1958 The Daily Chronicle (DeKalb, IL) pg. 8:

Loud Reports From Object Cause Scare

   CHARLOTTE, N.C.–UP– First there were three loud reports then a “beep, beep, beep…” from an object in the yard.
   W. D. Loy walked out to investigate. He found a silvery cylinder shaped like a missile with an antenna protruding from the top.
   Loy sent his family to the basement and called police. A crowd gathered.
   “I picked it up and carried it to the middle of the road and the people really scattered,” Loy said.
   Police Capt. G. A. Stephens had more nerve. He unscrewed bolts holding the object together and found inside a beeping electric bicycle horn. There also was a note that read:
   “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. April fool.”

One Reply to “April Fool’s 1958 Joke on William Duncan Loy (1922-2005)”

  1. Amy Wold

    I am related to the Loy’s through mom Jo(Evans) Wold paternal line and I am looking for any information that can be given. I am also related to Tillman’s, Teague’s, Sharp’s, Graves, Siler’s.

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