From everyone at StarTrek.com to all the Star Trek fans out there in the galaxy, happy First Contact Day.
It's not lost on us that, yes, we're toasting a day that hasn’t happened... yet. But, really, when has that stopped anyone who loves science fiction? Now, before we jump into a detailed explanation of what First Contact Day is within Star Trek canon, we thought we’d address a practical matter: how and why did the writers-producers of Star Trek: First Contact choose April 5 as First Contact Day? We turned to the film’s co-writer, Ronald D. Moore, who offered a remarkably simple, sensible and succinct explanation. “The short answer on First Contact Day is that it's my oldest son, Jonathan's birthday,” Moore told StarTrek.com. “And that's the only reason the date was chosen.”
First Contact Day pays tribute to the flight of the Phoenix and the pivotal first interaction between humans and Vulcans. It occurred on April 5, 2063. That night, the Vulcan survey ship the T’Plana-Hath landed in Bozeman, Montana, after tracking the warp signature of the Phoenix. The Phoenix was the spacecraft that marked mankind’s first successful attempt at achieving warp drive. Just minutes later, a robed Vulcan, displaying the split-fingered Vulcan greeting, made the acquaintance of Dr. Zefram Cochrane, pilot of the Phoenix and inventor of warp drive. First Contact was made, and it paved the way to the formation of the United Federation of Planets.
Anyone eager to discover more about First Contact and First Contact Day should watch the TOS episode “Metamorphosis,” with Glenn Corbett as Cochrane; the TNG big-screen adventure First Contact, with James Cromwell in the part (which he played again, briefly, on Enterprise); the books First Contact (the novelization of the feature) and First Frontier; and also Voyager episode “Homestead,” in which Neelix and Naomi Wildman throw a party celebrating the 315th anniversary of First Contact Day, complete with heaping portions of Cochrane’s favorite food (cheese pierogies), a classic jukebox and Tuvok flashing the Vulcan salute and speaking the legendary line, “Live long and prosper.”