We Found the Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk

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To all Star Trek fans!  We have identified the future — yes we said future — birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.

We found it in Riverside, Iowa. And it’s official!

Captain James T. Kirk’s birthplace is a place many of you flyover when traveling coast to coast while sipping a favorite beverage and watching an in-flight movie. But if you are a true Trekkie fan, then the town of Riverside, Iowa should probably be part of your future travel plans as it has been declared the official “future birthplace” of the original galactic fly-boy himself, the first guy to boldly go where no man has gone before, the first and only Star-fleet Academy student to ever defeat the Kobayashi Maru test, and the youngest Star-fleet Captain ever – Captain James T. Kirk.  So, ditch the coast to coast flight and visit beautiful Riverside. Then perhaps, just perhaps, you will come to understand Kirk’s great desire to escape his idyllic home town.

Come with me as we take a voyage of discovery to Riverside, Iowa and show you why a visit here should be on every Trekkie’s bucket list.

About James T. (Jim) Kirk 

  • Full Name: James Tiberius Kirk
  • Date of Birth: March 22, 2228
  • Place of Birth: Riverside, Iowa – Planet Earth

James T Kirk was educated in the Starfleet Academy from 2250-2254 and received his most important command, the newly christened Enterprise in 2264.

There are some conflicting versions (depending upon the movie or book) surrounding the circumstances of Kirk’s birth and his early years. In the book “The Making of Star Trek,” Roddenberry confirms that Kirk was born in Iowa. But, no specific place in Iowa was ever mentioned. However, all of this changed in 1985. And, here’s how it happened.

During a meeting of the Riverside City Council in March of 1985, Council Member Steve Miller suggested that Riverside promote itself as the “future birthplace” of Captain James T. Kirk, a fictional character from the TV series Star Trek. The suggestion was made as the City Council was looking for a theme for its annual festival. The City Council immediately passed the motion. A short time later, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry endorsed the “future birthplace” moniker after the City Council sought his permission.

A birthstone was erected proclaiming Riverside as the “future birthplace” of Captain James T. Kirk.

Riverside was first settled in 1872 and has a population of approximately 1000 and is located approximately 15 miles south of Iowa City. The name Riverside probably has its origins in the fact that it is on banks of the English River.

Every year since 1985, Riverside has held an annual “Trek Fest” in June celebrating their place in history made famous by a fictional character. 

Other Fast Notes

  • You can see the U.S.S. Riverside at the Star Trek Museum housed in the Riverside History Center.
  • Or, go visit the spot where Captain James T. Kirk was conceived at Murphy’s Bar and Grill. They even have a plaque hanging on the wall announcing that Kirk was “conceived at this point.” Note: the plaque was originally placed on the floor under a pool table but later moved to the wall. One explanation given for moving the plaque, it was cruel to make fans get down on the floor to view it.
  • The Riverside Quarry and Shipyards are fictional. Don’t go looking for them.

So, there you have it. Riverside, Iowa is the “future birthplace” of Captain James T. Kirk. A place worthy of a Star Trek pilgrimage.

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