Where To See The Future Birthplace Of James Kirk

March 22nd is the future birthday of  Captain James T. Kirk, captain of the starship Enterprise in Star Trek.  In Gene Roddenberry’s original The Making of Star Trek book, Kirk was listed as being born in a small town in Iowa.  However, it didn’t name the town nor did it list the exact year.   But that’s where the town of Riverside, Iowa steps in and decides to grab the opportunity for current and future glory.

Where can you see the monument built for James Kirk’s birthday?

It’s located at 60 Greene Street next to Riverside’s City Hall

This photo was taken when the monument was located a few blocks west of City Hall – but this same exact monument is now located on the south side of the Riverside City Hall.

What other Star Trek items can be seen in Riverside?

Besides the James Kirk birthplace marker, be sure to check out:

Numerous Trek-themed banners are displayed around Riverside.

The James Kirk statue in Railroad Park. 

Here’s the exact google maps location for the bronze statue of James Kirk

The Voyage Home Museum

Located at 361 East 1st Street, Riverside, Iowa  Be sure to check their webpage  http://www.voyagehomemuseum.org/ for hours. The museum houses unique Star Trek memorabilia as well as some local history related to Riverside.

Also, check out their annual Trekfest https://trekfest.org/   held every June.  It’s a multi-day festival featuring special guests, live music, the Trekfest parade, and more.  

How did Riverside become the birthplace of James T. Kirk?

Riverside city councilman and Trekkie fan, Steve Miller, had read Roddenberry’s original book and noticed that it didn’t name the small Iowa town where Kirk was born.   He thought, “Why not Riverside?”.   At a city council meeting in March 1985, a motion was proposed to declare Riverside the future birthplace of James T. Kirk, and it passed unanimously.  The city then changed its slogan from “Where the best begins” to  “Where the Trek begins”.  They also changed their annual Riverfest to Trekfest, which still happens every June. 

A monument was then set up marking the place of Kirk’s future birth, which was originally behind a local barbershop/salon (as Miller owned the property).  The monument has been moved to the grounds at City Hall. 

A few weeks after the city council passed the motion,  they were featured in a front-page article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It was then picked up by The New York Times and eventually the BBC in England. It drew so much attention that the mayor of Riverside had to take two weeks off from his regular job so he stayed at City Hall and addressed all the requests from the media. 

Did Star Trek ever recognize Riverside, Iowa as the birthplace of James Kirk?

Yes, but it took several decades since the motion was first approved in 1985.  It wasn’t until 2009 version of Star Trek starring Chris Pine, that Riverside was officially named in a movie declaring that Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa.  

Why is his birth year 2233  vs  2238?

On the engraved headstone next to the Riverside City Hall, it lists the birthdate as March 22, 2228.  However, Kirk’s birthdate is also commonly listed as March 22, 2233.  Why the difference?

The monument in Riverside was made first and used the 2228 date first.  The 2233 date wasn’t established until 1993 when The Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future was released. 

However, both agree that March 22nd is the correct date, as that happens to be William Shatner’s birthday.  

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