In the mid 1970s through the early 80s, some fan-generated TREK technical literature diverged from what is now official "canon" in interesting ways. If you look at Franz Joseph Schnaubelt's 1975 "Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual", the "Articles of Confederation" section, essentially a constitution for the United Federation of Planets, suggested that the founding of the Federation occurred following (or somehow involved with) the Treaty of Axanar (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy"). The Manual also suggested that the foundation of the Federation, happening when James T. Kirk was just a young man, was also the same time frame of the creation of the first twelve Constitution-class Federation starships. This language seemed to indicate that there were no Federation starships before Axanar. In 1980, "Star Trek Maps" (from Bantam Books) suggested something even more divergent: the Constitution-class starships were supposed to be about 50 years old at the time of TOS. While not directly endorsing Schnaubelt's Manual, "Maps" seemed to be tapping in on that same line of thought, but suggesting that this mysterious Axanar situation and the resulting Federation founding was either a few decades earlier or maybe that it was a longer, more complicated history than just a brief incident as Kirk's recitation to Garth of Izar suggested. I seem to recall at least one other vague reference to the 50-year-old Constitution-class starship notion, possibly in the "Star Fleet Officer's Manual". To me, looking at these references suggests that the authors of these fandom works were trying to make the destroyed U.S.S. Valiant, lost at Eminiar VII ("A Taste of Armageddon"), into one of the original Federation starships, certainly a Constitution-class ship. So if we assume that the Valiant were one of the first Constitution-class vessels launched by a newly founded Federation fifty years prior to the Enterprise's arrival at Eminiar VII, and if, for sake of argument, we accept that Ambassador Fox's mission took place in 2267, then this would put the date of the founding of the Federation some time prior to 2217. I'm curious as to where there may be other references to the notion that the Constitution-class starships were 50 years old at the time of TOS. Was it mentioned in any other literature? Also, does anyone know of any more detailed citations other than the Schnaubelt Manual, which would give more depth to these notions of 50-year-old Constitution-class ships or 23rd-century founding of the Federation?