NBC viewers at 8:30 saw this...
And something was born that is still a part of our human consciousness.
My earliest memory of Star Trek was the animated series, which ran on NBC Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1974. This would make me 2-3 years old. I can clearly remember the TV in my grandparents living room on, and the episode was "Yesteryear" (yes, I can identify the episode in hindsight). I can't say it made much of an impact, other than I can remember it.
After Star Wars, however, I was rabid for anything sci-fi, and Star Trek became an ongoing favorite. I was absolutely rabid for the movie series. I was over the moon out of my head when Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered. The subsequent series have all held some place in my heart.
Why? Well, I think that the whole concept of the series works for people like myself in two ways. In the first part, it presents a society where everyone has a place. As a chubby, weird outcast for most of my adolescence, it was wonderful to see a world where everyone was valued on their ideals, rather than how they looked. In the second place...it was a world where human achievement held the highest regard. Where every barrier to advancement was seen as a challenge, a temporary hurdle on the way to the fullest of human potential.
In other words, I think we were born to touch the stars.
I see Star Trek as the propaganda arm for NASA, in a lot of ways. It's the ultimate ideal that we ought to reach for. Ah, hell.. it represents everything Neil Degradsse Tyson is talking about in this clip, and he says it so much better than I ever could...
Or, let's hear it from Captain James Tiberius Kirk, himself...
God bless progress. God bless Star Trek.
You have no idea how glad I am you were there for me.