Today, May 25, is known alternately as Geek Pride Day, Towel Day, and The Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May — all of which is to say its a high holy day for the nerd set.
The Glorious appellation is in remembrance of the Glorious Revolution of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of fantasy novels, the secret survivors of which wear lilacs and deposit hard-boiled eggs on gravestones.
The Towel Day element is a celebration of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, within which veteran galactic hitchhikers counsel, “always know where your towel is.” The Towel Day anniversary of May 25 was chosen both because it was two weeks after the passing of Adams in 2001, and because it was coincident with another historic date in geek history — the original release of Star Wars on May 25, 1977.
It is the latter date that inspired the creation of Geek Pride day in 2006. George Lucas targeted May 25 as the release day for Star Wars because it was the Friday of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday in 1977, figuring the vacation crowd might boost the movie’s attendance. Lucas was right, and for more than three decades, Memorial Day weekend has been the single most successful movie box office weekend in U.S. history, cementing its place in geek lore. Another weekend, however, is a very close second, and perhaps due for some geek love.
WHAT IS THE SECOND MOST SUCCESSFUL MOVIE RELEASE WEEKEND OF ALL TIME, BEHIND MEMORIAL DAY?