Where does Back to the Future Day come from?
Back to the Future Day comes from the 1989 science fiction film Back to the Future Part II. In the film, the main character, Marty McFly, must time travel thirty years into the future to prevent personal disaster for his future family. He arrives on October 21, 2015.
Happy Back to the Future Day! On this day in 2015, Marty McFly arrived in the "future," complete with hoverboards and power-lacing shoes!
— Caseen Gaines (@caseengaines) October 21, 2018
This day was chosen for plot reasons. In the film’s universe, the Chicago Cubs win the World Series in 2015—a joke, because, when the movie was released, the last time the team claimed baseball’s biggest championship was in 1908. Foreknowledge of this fact allows the film’s villain, Biff Tannen, to become rich. So, Marty McFly’s travel date needed to be a day on which the World Series’ winners could be announced. October 21 was picked as a probable date, since the competition generally happened in mid-to-late October at the time.
Who uses Back to the Future Day?
In the years and days leading up to October 21, 2015, some tried to trick people into believing Back to the Future Day actually fell on a different date.
The misinformation may have started with a tweet from Total Films on July 5, 2010, claiming that date was Back to the Future Day. They included a photoshopped image of the movie’s time machine clock to “back up” their assertion. On June 27, 2012, Total Film repeated the prank. Apparently, the joke was intended to promote the company’s box set of Back to the Future DVDs.
— OLRIK COMPANY (@moelhoej) October 21, 2018
On Back to the Future Day, many media outlets ran stories on what Back to the Future Part II got right—or wrong—in its vision of the future. The film almost correctly predicted the Cubs ending their over 100-year World Series drought, but they were a year off: the Chicago Cubs finally won a World Series in November 2016.
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