Saturday, September 08, 2012
Happy Birthday, Star Trek!
Forty-six years ago on September 8, 1966, Star Trek premiered on NBC television.
A franchise was born, and a legend begun.
I didn't come along until Star Trek had already ended, in late 1969, but the series remains one of the most important and enduring influences in my life.
The stories were inspiring, exciting, and often romantic. Most importantly they meant something.
The episodes dealt with issues like brinkmanship (“A Private Little War”), racism (“Let that Be Your Last Battlefield,” “Balance of Terror”), technology (“The Ultimate Computer”), brotherhood (“The Empath”), the value of diversity (“Is There in Truth No Beauty,”) and much more.
And the resolution of each week’s story didn’t occur simply because of the phaser banks. The answers to improving the human condition weren’t just about people shooting each other. Strength was often defined by showing mercy, setting aside prejudice, or just looking at things in a new way.
Consequently, Star Trek is now a philosophy, a way of life, an American institution, a multi-generational “myth” and so much more. Happy Birthday!
(And today, incidentally, is also the 23rd anniversary of my first date with my beautiful wife.)