Nearly 50 years to the day of the original airing of “Star Trek,” the U.S. Postal Service dedicated the Star Trek Forever stamps today at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The first-day-of-issue ceremony launched Star Trek: Mission New York, a three-day celebration that is expected to draw thousands of Star Trek fans.
These stamps will “live long and prosper,” because as Forever stamps they are good for mailing a 1-ounce First-Class letter anytime in the future — regardless of star date. “Star Trek” fans are asked to share the news on social media using the hashtag #StarTrekForever.
“The Postal Service is proud to commemorate ‘Star Trek’ on the eve of its 50th anniversary,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan referring to the iconic television program’s Sept. 8, 1966, debut. “Star Trek’s intricate futuristic setting, multicultural cast and story lines touched on social issues and pushed past the boundaries of popular science fiction becoming a worldwide phenomenon.”
Joining Brennan in dedicating the stamps were actor and humanitarian Walter Koenig, who portrayed U.S.S. Enterprise’s navigation officer Pavel Chekov in the series; NASA Deputy Director of Science for Communication Michelle Thaller; CBS Consumer Products Executive Vice President and General Manager Liz Kaloduer; and, U.S. Postal Service Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell.
“With the chaos in today’s world, hopefully the stamps and what they signify can inspire a better future for us all,” said Koenig.
“’Star Trek’ gave us a universe that we could explore in our imagination,” said Thaller. “In this universe we pioneered not only new technology and new worlds, but — more importantly — new social rules and new definitions of tolerance and diversity. In Star Trek’s universe, we found better ways to be human.”
The stamps, under license by CBS Consumer Products, showcase four digital illustrations inspired by classic elements of the television program:
- The Starship Enterprise inside the outline of a Starfleet insignia against a gold background;
- The silhouette of a crewman in a transporter against a red background;
- The silhouette of the Enterprise from above against a green background; and,
- The Enterprise inside the outline of the Vulcan salute (Spock’s iconic hand gesture) against a blue background.
The words “SPACE… THE FINAL FRONTIER,” from Captain Kirk’s famous voice-over appears beneath the stamps against a background of stars. The stamp images were created by the design firm Heads of State of Philadelphia, PA, under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA.
“Star Trek” celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016. Born from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, the original “Star Trek” series aired for three seasons — a short run that belied the influence it would have for generations. The series also broke new ground in storytelling and cultural mores providing a progressive look at topics including race relations, global politics, the environment and more. It spawned five more television series and 13 feature films spanning the course of half a century.
Beyond its impact on the entertainment landscape, “Star Trek” has also influenced our modern world by helping spark technological advancements such as the cell phone, universal translator, smart watch, tablet, sonogram and other inventions.