The Thing About Today – May 4

May 4, 2020
Day 125 of 366

 

May 4th is the 125th day of the year. It is Star Wars Day, a fan-created celebration of the Star Wars media franchise based around the popular phrase “May the Force be with you” (May the fourth be with you). The phrase first appeared in The Science of Star Wars by Jeanne Cavelos in 1999. It was picked up by Facebook fan groups in 2008 and gained popularity in 2011 with the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day in Toronto, Ontario. The event was repeated in 2012 and the day has been promoted worldwide by The Walt Disney Company since 2013.

Of course, this shouldn’t be confused with May 25th, the anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars film in 1977.

In the United States, today is “celebrated” as National Weather Observers Day, National Renewal Day, National Orange Juice Day, National Candied Orange Peel Day, Bird Day, and Melanoma? Monday. That last one is typically observed on the first Monday in May.

 

Historical items of note:

  • In 1776, Rhode Island became the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.
  • In 1904, the United States began construction of the Panama Canal. They took over for France, who had begun work in 1881 but stopped because of engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate.
  • In 1910, the Royal Canadian Navy was created.
  • In 1919, student demonstrations took place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The May Fourth Movement protested the Treaty of Versailles, which transferred Chinese territory to Japan.
  • In 1929, Belgian-British actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn was born.
  • In 1932, mobster Al Capone begins serving an eleven-year prison sentence in Atlanta, Georgia for tax evasion.
  • In 1953, Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
  • In 1961, the Freedom Riders began a bus trip through the Southern United States.
  • In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

 

In 2012, the United Nations declared May 4th to be Anti-Bullying Day.

Anti-Bullying Day is an observance when people wear mainly a pink shirt to symbolize a stand against bullying. It is celebrated on various dates around the world, but the United Nations picked May 4th for their observance.

The United States Department of Justice showed that one out of four kids will be bullied during their adolescence. Most of the time it continues after the first incident as statistics show that 71 percent of students that are bullied, continue to be bullied, making it a problem with no end. According to the Yale School of Medicine, a study in 2010 discovered a connection between being bullied and suicide.

The original event was organized by David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick, Nova Scotia. In 2007, they bought and distributed fifty pink shirts after male ninth-grade classmate Chuck McNeill was bullied for wearing a pink shirt during the first day of school. Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald proclaimed the second Thursday of September as “Stand Up Against Bullying Day” in recognition of these events.

In 2008, the Premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell proclaimed February 27 to be the provincial anti-bullying day. The last Wednesday each February is now the national anti-bullying day in Canada.

 

The Thing About Today is an effort to look at each day of 2020 with respect to its historical context.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

 

 

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