Apocryphally, the reference was first used on May 4, 1979, the dayMargaret Thatchertook office asPrime Ministerof theUnited Kingdom. An online news article from the Danish public broadcaster says her political party, theConservatives, placed a congratulatory advertisement inThe London Evening News, saying "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."
In 2008, the first Facebook groups appeared, celebrating Luke Skywalker Day, with the same catchphrase. While the initial group never received widespread acclaim, the phenomenon spread to college campuses a few years later, and Star Wars Day was born.
In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Produced by Sean Ward and Alice Quinn, festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web's best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition took place on Friday, May 4, 2012.
Fans (even government officials) have celebrated Star Wars in a variety of ways in social media and on television.
Since 2013, The Walt Disney Company has officially observed the holiday with several Star Wars events and festivities at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Disney had purchased Lucasfilm including the rights to Star Wars in late 2012.