Happy First Contact Day, everyone.

It was – or will be – in the evening of this day in 2063 that the Vulcan survey spacecraft T’Plana-Hath landed in Bozeman, Montana, after following the warp signature of the Phoenix, a ship that represented the human race’s first successful attempt at achieving warp drive. Soon after, a robed Vulcan, offering the Vulcan salute, met Dr. Zefram Cochrane, pilot of the Phoenix and the inventor of warp drive. First Contact was now etched in history, and it paved the way for the formation of the United Federation of Planets.

While it’s true, of course, that First Contact and First Contact Day are fictional creations, they have been well developed across the Star Trek franchise. Anyone interested in the finer details should be sure to check out some of the following:

The TOS episode “Metamorphosis” features Glenn Corbett as Cochrane.

The TNG film First Contact, with James Cromwell playing Cochrane as a man with a penchant for booze and rock and roll, and the nickname “Z.” Cromwell later reprised the role, in a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo, in “Broken Bow,” the pilot episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.

The books First Contact (a novelization of the film), First Frontier, Starfleet Academy, Imzadi and Federation, as well as the TOS comic book, A Warp in Space.

The Voyager episode “Homestead.” In it, Neelix and Naomi Wildman throw a party celebrating the 315th anniversary of First Contact Day. There’s a retro jukebox, lots of Cochrane’s favorite munchie (cheese pierogies), and the particularly amusing moment in which Tuvok very reluctantly raises his fingers in the Vulcan salute and intones the legendary phrase, “Live long and prosper.”

So, everybody, are you going to let your kids skip school? Will you stay home from work? After all, it is First Contact Day.


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