This year has pop culture and trivia geeks chomping at the bit. October 21, 2015 is the date that Doc sends Marty McFly forward in time 30 years. Marty goes forward in time to stop his son, Marty Jr. from participating in a robbery and then things get crazy.
There have been a number of hoaxes over the last few years that taut various dates as the future date and you can read about those on Snopes.
Convinced through careful and painstaking research (wasn’t really that hard) that October 21, 2015 was the actual date the wheels started turning.
When you are a history geek your head is usually full of names, dates and places. Sometimes those details converge unexpectedly and you end up with research projects or even articles where different players or events in history converge.
I knew that October 21st had some significance in my head and then it dawned on me because I am a serious 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition geek. The Expo which became known as the “White City” was a world’s fair held in Chicago from May 1, 1893 until October 30, 1893 and was conceived to honor the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus discovering the “New World”. While the Expo opened a year too late (should have been 1892), the dedication ceremonies were held on October 21st of the previous year.
Why were the dedication ceremonies held on October 21st when everyone knows that October 12th is when we celebrate Columbus Day?
Historians agree that 12 October 1492 was the date that Columbus stated in his journal that he first sighted and visited what many believe to be the Island of San Salvador in the District of the Bahamas. The issue is that Columbus was using the Julian Calendar and we currently use the Gregorian Calendar which after conversion would place the correct date as October 21st and therefore the date of the dedication ceremonies of the Columbian Exposition.
Did the screenplay writer, Bob Gale, or the director of Back to the Future II, Robert Zemeckis, use the date of October 21st to send a shout out from one explorer, Marty McFly, to another great historic explorer?
I supposed only they could answer that question and who knows maybe they will see this article and help solve a mystery.
On a side note, I noticed that Chicago-born director Robert Zemeckis also has the Cubs winning the World Series this year! There is always hope!
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