Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk.
Ground Zero Kirk pre-2021. A bench offered relief to those whose knees went weak.

Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk

Field review by the editors.

Riverside, Iowa

James T. Kirk, captain of the Starship Enterprise, will be born in Riverside, Iowa, on March 22, 2228.

Future Birthplace marker.
Helpful Kirk banner marked the alley that formerly led to his birthplace.

Steve Miller, a Riverside councilman, knew this before anyone else. Steve was a Trekkie, and he read in Gene Roddenberry's book, Making of Star Trek (1968) that Kirk would be born in a small town in Iowa. The book didn't name the town. Miller thought, "Why not Riverside?" At the next council meeting (March 25, 1985) Miller proposed that Riverside declare itself the Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk. The motion passed unanimously.

Riverside quickly altered its town slogan from "Where the best begins" to "Where the Trek begins," and changed its annual summer festival from River Fest to Trek Fest. Miller jabbed a stick into the ground behind the town barber shop (he owned the property) and declared that it was the future birth spot. An engraved monument was eventually placed on the spot for present (and future) fans. Later, a bench was added for contemplation along with a Shuttlecraft-shaped donation box for upkeep.

Miller's inspiration became official Star Trek canon in May 2009, when Riverside was identified as Kirk's hometown in the Star Trek reboot movie. The entire town was invited to a special secret preview screening of the film, a day before its official release. It wasn't screened in Riverside, but in Iowa City, which was the nearest town with a movie theater.

In June 2021 the monument was moved a block east, next to city hall, but apparently still close enough to qualify as the birth spot in a small town. And who knows? Depending how much plate tectonics shift in 200+ years, it may be the correct spot after all.

Star Trek fans, as finicky stewards of series factoids, sometimes wonder why the March 22, 2228 date on the Riverside monument differs from the March 22, 2233 date usually accepted as Kirk's birthday. The answer is that the 2233 date wasn't promoted until eight years later -- 1993 -- with the publication of the book, The Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future. Take your pick which to believe, but both agree that March 22 is the day, which also happens to be William Shatner's real birthday.

Also see: Captain Kirk Conceived Here

Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk

Address:
60 Greene St., Riverside, IA
Directions:
On the south side of city hall, on the west side of Greene St., a half-block north of IA-22/W. First St.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Captain Kirk Conceived HereCaptain Kirk Conceived Here, Riverside, IA - < 1 mi.
Star Trek Voyage Home MuseumStar Trek Voyage Home Museum, Riverside, IA - < 1 mi.
Bronze Statue of James T. KirkBronze Statue of James T. Kirk, Riverside, IA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Totem Pole in Iowa, Williamsburg, IA - 27 mi.

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