First Contact Day
annually on April 5th (since 1997)
On April 5, 2063, the first contact between humans and aliens took place, when the Vulcan ship T’Plana-Hath landed in Bozeman, Montana. It had been tracking the warp signature of the Phoenix, the first human ship to reach warp drive speeds—a speed created by its pilot, Dr. Zefram Cochrane. A Vulcan disembarked from the T’Plana-Hath and greeted Dr. Cochrane with a split-fingered Vulcan salute and the words, "Live long and prosper." This meeting set the groundwork for the United Federation of Planets to eventually be created. The meeting was documented in the film Star Trek: First Contact, which was released in 1996. Since the release of the film, Star Trek fans—known as Trekkies (or Trekkers)—have embraced the day. April 5 was the day of first contact because one of the screenwriters of Star Trek: First Contact, Ronald D. Moore, made it the same day as his oldest son's birthday.
Star Trek was created by Gene Roddenberry. What became known as the Star Trek: The Original Series debuted in 1966 and ran for three seasons on NBC. Set in the twenty-third century, it followed the Starship USS Enterprise, captained by James T. Kirk, who was played by William Shatner. Star Trek gained a cult following and Trekkies were born. Besides The Original Series, there have been five other television series: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Star Trek: Discovery. There has also been an animated series and numerous films—including Star Trek: First Contact. Toys, comics, novels, figurines, and other things related to the series were also created. On First Contact Day, we celebrate the first meeting of humans and aliens, the film that documented it, and everything else that is Star Trek related.
How to Observe
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate this monumental day:
- Watch the clip of first contact from Star Trek: First Contact.
- Watch the film Star Trek: First Contact.
- Listen to a podcast about the film.
- Read Star Trek: First Contact, a novel that follows the plotline of the film.
- Watch the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Homestead," in which a party is thrown for the 315th anniversary of First Contact Day.
- Watch other Star Trek episodes or films.
- Eat some cheese pierogies, which are Dr. Zefram Cochrane's favorite food.
- Greet everyone you meet today with a Vulcan salute and the phrase "Live long and prosper."
- Learn Klingon, a language featured in Star Trek.
- Check for deals at the official Star Trek Shop.
- Plan to attend a Star Trek convention.
- Visit a place related to Star Trek, such as the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour.
- Tour Star Trek: The Exhibition or Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds.