May 18, 1965 Final Frontier

In his 1968 book “Making of Star Trek”, Gene Roddenberry says that James Kirk was born in a small town in Iowa. Full time Trekkie and part time Riverside Councilman Steve Miller thought “Why not Riverside”.

A boy was born on March 22, 2233 in Riverside, Iowa, destined to become the youngest captain in Star Fleet history. Before he could boldly go where no man has gone before, he had to have a name.

The WWII fighter pilot and veteran of 89 combat missions Gene Roddenberry made 16 name suggestions on this date in 1965, among them Hannibal, Timber, Flagg, and Raintree.

Star_Trek_William_ShatnerRoddenberry decided on James T. Kirk, based on a journal entry of the 18th century British explorer, Captain James Cook: “ambition leads me … farther than any other man has been before me”.

Kirk was killed in 2329 on the Enterprise (B), after the ship was eaten by a Nexus energy ribbon on its maiden voyage. Only he didn’t die, because Jean-Luc Picard found him alive in the timeless Nexus, negotiating hotel deals for Priceline.com. Or something like that.

In his 1968 book “Making of Star Trek”, Gene Roddenberry says that James Kirk was born in a small town in Iowa. Full time Trekkie and part time Riverside Councilman Steve Miller thought “Why not Riverside”. In 1985 Miller moved that Riverside declare itself the Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk.  The motion passed unanimously. The town’s slogan was changed from “Where the best begins” to “Where the Trek begins,” and the annual summer festival changed from “River Fest” to “Trek Fest”.

Star_Trek_William_Shatner_Future_Burial_Place.jpeg

The Riverside connection became Holy Writ, when the 2009 film Star Trek identified the place as Kirk’s home town. There is a granite monument in Riverside, population 963, declaring itself to be the “Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.

In case you were ever curious about what the “T” stands for…its Tiberius.

 

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Author: Cape Cod Curmudgeon

I'm not a "Historian". I'm a husband, a father, a son and a grandfather. A history geek and sometimes curmudgeon, who still likes to learn new things. I began writing "Today in History" nearly six years ago, as sort of a self-guided history course.  I told myself I’d write 365, the leap year changed that to 366. As I write this, I believe there are over 600. I make every effort to get my facts straight, but I'm as good at being wrong as the next guy. I offer these "Today in History" stories in hopes that you'll enjoy reading them, as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Rick Long

One thought on “May 18, 1965 Final Frontier”

  1. “Only he didn’t die, because Jean-Luc Picard found him alive in the timeless Nexus, negotiating hotel deals for Priceline.com. Or something like that.” Now that’s funny!

    Liked by 1 person

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