Coinciding with April Fool’s Day 41 years ago was a press conference held by John Lennon and Yoko Ono to announce the birth of a conceptual country called Nutopia.
This, however, wasn’t a mere prank that John and Yoko pulled to get into the spirit of April Fool’s but was in fact a creative and satirical, albeit bizarre, means of addressing the former’s immigration problems. While the government allowed Yoko to stay as she holds a Resident Alien green card (through her previous marriage with Tony Cox), John, who’s British, reportedly was denied permanent residence status and was eventually given the order to leave within 60 days on March 23 the same year.
The word Nutopia apparently was a portmanteau of “new” and “utopia.” During the press conference, John and Yoko also waved off flags of their country, the color of which is white and were, it turned out, tissues. John explained that the flag signifies “surrender and submission.” The Nutopian International Anthem was actually a three-second silent track; its Great Seal depicted an illustration of an actual seal:
On her website Imagine Peace, Yoko related that John had hung a gold plaque that says Nutopian Embassy on the kitchen door of their apartment in The Dakota. “Strangely enough, now friends just like to come in from that door, and not the front door,” she said, adding, “It seems the plaque made the kitchen door our front door.”
Below is a video clip taken during the press conference exactly 41 years ago today: