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How did May Fourth become Star Wars Day?

star wars day in argentina reuters.jpg

May 3, 2014. A boy looks at a man dressed as a stormtrooper from the Star Wars movies before the Star Wars Run race ahead of Star Wars Day in Buenos Aires.Reuters

Today is not just any other Sunday. It’s also Star Wars Day. Maybe it’s not an official holiday but for millions of fans May 4 is the day to celebrate their love of Darth Vader, lightsabers and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

And according to Entertainment Weekly we have an unusual person to thank for the date – former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She was elected on May 4, 1979 – two years after “Star Wars” was released. An ad was placed in the London Evening News that read, “May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”

Cut to years later and the phrase which of course sounds an awful lot like, “May the force be with you,” began to gain traction as a day designated to celebrate “Star Wars.” In 2011, the Toronto Underground Cinema organized a film festival and costume contest and now there are global celebrations.

Happy “Star Wars” day!

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