Monday, April 5, 2021

Celebrate First Contact Day on 4/5, a Star Trek Day that mirrors Star Wars Day on 5/4

Happy First Contact Day!
First Contact Day on April 5th commemorates a fictional date in the future when an alien species visits Earth and makes contact with Earthlings for the first time.

While the fictional date of 2063 is less than half a generation away, mere humans contemplate the possibilities the further we explore space. Not only do the modern explorers keep our interests piqued, but the science fiction genre continues to pour out stories that thrill and excite us.
Actually half a lifetime; a human generation is usually considered to be 20-30 years, so the fictional date is two generations away. But I digress; back to First Contact Day's description from National Day Calendar.
While celebrating the first contact could mean many things, this celebration focuses on one kind – the Vulcan/humankind meeting. That’s right. It’s a “final frontier” kind of celebration.
In 1996, Star Trek: First Contact was released in theaters across the nation. Starfleet and crew travel through time and encounter historical figure Dr. Zefram Cochrane. His spacecraft, the Phoenix, launches and becomes the first in human history to reach warp drive. Moments after the launch, Vulcans appear at the base near Boseman, Montana.

The date is April 5, 2063, and throughout 300 years of future history, First Contact Day honors the achievements of Dr. Cochrane and the historic first interactions between humans and Vulcans. Present-day sci-fi fans celebrate the event as well.
I find it ironically fitting that First Contact Day, which passes as Star Trek Day, is on 4/5, while Star Wars Day is on 5/4, making them numerical inverses of each other. I doubt that's deliberate; the "Star Trek" wiki Memory Alpha states "Star Trek: First Contact co-writer Ronald D. Moore chose the date for first contact in honor of his son, Jonathan, whose birthday is April 5th." Moore wrote the script in 1996, years before May the Fourth crossed the Atlantic to become Star Wars Day in 1999. Just the same, I enjoy the coincidence of the two dates mirroring each other. I hope my readers do, too.

I also hope my readers enjoy the following video combining most of the activities National Day Calendar lists for today:
  • Attend a first contact re-enactment party
  • Watch the film Star Trek: First Contact
  • Visit Bozeman, Montana
  • Share your first contact stories
  • Participate in online celebrations
  • Play the song “A Magic Carpet Ride”
  • Practice your Vulcan greeting

Live long and prosper!

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