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Old March 3 2013, 02:44 PM   #150
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Re: Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years

Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
The story I'd always heard is that the residents of Riverside just decided that it was true.
^That's right. From Memory Alpha:
In March of 1985, Riverside was looking for a theme for its annual festival. Steve Miller, who was a member of the Riverside City Council, had read The Making of Star Trek and suggested that Riverside proclaim itself the future birthplace of Kirk. This motion passed unanimously. The council contacted Roddenberry for permission to be designated as the official birthplace of Kirk. Roddenberry agreed, and designated Riverside as Kirk's birthplace.

Since 1985 the town has held an annual "Trek Fest" in June, a themed Star Trek festival based on an original series episode. The festival features a costume contest and a parade with Star Trek themed floats, including the classic bridge, and a float based on that year's theme. The city also showcases a Constitution-class "U.S.S. Riverside" statue (which doubles as a parade float), a "birthstone" marking the future birthplace of James T. Kirk, and a memorabilia museum, named "The Voyage Home", which houses props from the TV series and the Invasion Iowa reality show.

From Starlog issue 112, November 1986, p. 14:
According to a story by John Mejia in the June 28, 1986 edition of the Des Moines Register, a group of Iowans (not to be confused with Iotians) have constructed an 18-foot long replica of everyone's favorite Federation spacecraft, the U.S.S. Enterprise. The ship is named the U.S.S. Riverside, after the town where it was constructed. Furthermore, town residents have proclaimed Riverside to be the unofficial birthplace of James T. Kirk. Kirk, as pointed out by Gene Roddenberry in The Making of Star Trek, was born in "a small Iowa town."
So it's just something the folks of Riverside adopted and promoted, and the Trek community responded positively to it and it sort of became unofficial Trek lore. It was referenced in various tie-ins, and by now has become so accepted that the Iowa scenes in the 2009 movie were set in Riverside.
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