22 Apr 2007

Enterprising of Them

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Reuters reports that a small Iowa town has identified itself as the future birthplace of Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk.

A small Iowa town is trying to lure tourists by going where no town has gone before — forward 200 years in time to be the birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk from cult science fiction show “Star Trek.”

Welcome to Riverside, a once prosperous little farming town with a population of 928 that has fallen on hard times, wants to attract tourists and much needed money with a “Star Trek” museum to revive its largely lifeless, boarded-up main drag.

The town has no famous offspring like West Branch, 25 miles away, where former U.S. President Herbert Hoover was born in 1874, and can’t boast the “World’s Largest Strawberry,” a 15 feet high fiberglass fruit, like Strawberry Point, 100 miles to the north.

So former town councilor and self-declared “Trekkie” Steve Miller in 1985 persuaded the council to declare Riverside the future birthplace as Kirk, a main character of the “Star Trek” television series that began in 1966 and following films.

“Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry wrote a book saying Kirk will be born in Iowa, but didn’t say where,” said Miller. ”So I thought ’why not here?”’

Kirk’s birthday was never officially established but the town lists it on a plaque as March 22, 2228. The show’s official Web site, however, says he was born on March 22, 2233. Canadian actor William Shatner who played the captain of the starship Enterprise was born in real-life on March 22.

Read the whole thing.

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