May the 4th be with you! The daylight is about to dawn on this special day that ain’t just for Star Wars fans. May 4th is a fun day for anyone to take a beat, look to the sky, and dream of adventure.
And speaking of the stars, we outdoorsy-loving folk have played some unexpected roles in the intergalactic.
From hyperspeeding Winnebagos to moon-marauding Airstreams, RVing has made it to the stars.
This little blurb chats about the origins of May the 4th, tells some fun stories about RVing to other planets, and closes by showing you and yours how to discover parts unknown.
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May the 4th be with you: A brief history
You might think that May 4th celebrations began as a direct result of something Star Wars related (we know we did), but May the 4th be with you actually stemmed from the 1979 election of Margaret Thatcher.
The Iron Lady had just clinched the prime ministership of the U.K. and her political party took out a half-page ad in the May 4th, 1979 issue of The London Evening News proclaiming:
“May The Fourth Be With You Maggie, Congratulations!”
Strangely, the phrase drifted into obscurity for a few decades after the Thatcher election — that is until the interweb started getting ahold of it.
Near as we can tell, it wasn’t until around 2005 that May the Fourth be with you began to resurface in Star Wars chatrooms and forums. And once it did, it took on a life of its own.
These grassroots chat roomers started May 4th celebrations that grew quickly in popularity, igniting the chain reaction that led to May 4th becoming a global holiday.
May the Fourth be with you: Interplanetary RVing
NASA’s aspirations pointed moonward in the ‘60s. But as the scientists made their lunar calculations, a creeping fear began to grip them like a Darth Vader chokehold — the threat of lunar pathogens.
That’s to say, these scientists were concerned that moon-going astronauts might return with space germs clinging to their moonsuits.
And since Earth had presumably not experienced these pathogens before, NASA didn’t want to create a galactic-level pandemic (thanks NASA, we appreciate that 🙂)
Enter Airstream. These riveted bits of aluminum beauty provided just the sort of vehicles NASA needed to safely quarantine astronauts when they returned from the moon.
Airstream obliged by building the Mobile Quarantine Facility (MQF) — basically an airtight silver bullet that featured all the comforts of their usual travel trailers and was transportable by boat or cargo plane.
This construction allowed astronauts to go straight from their ocean capsule into the MQF without exposing anyone to unknown dangers.
Airstream’s connection to NASA didn’t end with the moon missions. In 1983, NASA began using a modified version of an Airstream Excella motorhome to transport astronauts from mission control to the launch pad.
This rig — known as the Astrovan — continued shuttling space-bound folks until 2011.
Even Winnebago made it to the stars, sort of…
Airstream couldn’t have all the May the Fourth fun, Winnebago needed in on the action too — and in it got.
Spaceballs is the iconic ‘80s movie that saw Mel Brooks poke fun at all things Han Solo, Wookie, and otherwise.
The icing on the cake for us RVing folk is surely Eagle 5 — the hyperspeeding, galaxy-cruising Winnebago Chieftain piloted by Lone Starr and his faithful companion, Barf.
May the 4th be with you: Discovering new adventures with your family
May the 4th is an offbeat opportunity to create family time that soaks in the mystery of the skies above. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
–Camp at a dark sky park — Check out these best road trip spots for stargazers, then rent a rig, and camp with galaxies overhead.
Or, you could book a glamping stay for a luxury outdoor experience under the night sky.
–Take a journey on a starcruiser — Disney World has a Star Wars-themed hotel where you and the kiddos can live like the Skywalkers for a few days.
–Camp under the Milky Way — Seeing the Milky Way in all its splendor is something everyone should do. It’s also something that requires a bit of advance planning to make sure you go to the right places, at the right times, and with the right tools.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Milky Way for all you need to know.
May the Fourth be with you is a fun holiday that has some surprisingly cool connections to RVing and camping. We hope you dug digging into it as much as we did.
As you prepare to pop a can of Liquid Schwartz and journey forth this summer — we hope you’ll take some of our tips above to create epic family memories.
May the Fourth be with you and yours,