Today being May the Fourth (Star Wars Day) got me thinking: when was the date of May the Fourth first celebrated as Star Wars Day?
It sounds like May 4, 1979 might be the earliest reference for any reference of May 4th.
One of the earliest known records of “May the 4th” used in popular culture is in 1979, as described here by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm:
Friday, May 4
“Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was ‘May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations,’ further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all.”
It was firstly celebrated in Toronto in 2011 by the Toronto Undeground Cinema, with movie marathon and costume contest.
Since 2013, Disney tries to make it a worldwide and marketing event.
For the story, "May the Fourth Be With You" came firstly after Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of the UK in 1979.