History today. At 8:30 PM Eastern Standard Time on this date in 1966, STAR TREK premiered on NBC. SF, television and the world were altered forever. While some episodes have not aged well, you must remember overall what SF on television and in the movies was like 40 years ago to fully appreciate it's impact. Nobody took SF seriously, especially the competition on the dial (ABC's BATMAN and LOST IN SPACE on CBS). STAR TREK brought drama and a sense of optimism for the future to audiences. Only a few other TV shows could make that claim. The real success of STAR TREK was that people kept watching it long after it's 2 1/2 year network run of 79 episodes. This at a time when there was no on-demand, no TIVO, no cable guides or DVD boxed sets. You had to call or write and pester your local affiliates to pick up TREK in syndication. Fans at cons endlessly discussed not only the philisophical underpinnings and dramatic conflicts of the show, but it's at-the-time state-of-the-art special effects striving for credibility, and the merciless syndication cuts to make room for more commercials. Original Trek episodes were 4 acts, running almost 54 minutes of story, with a teaser, tag and credits. Compare to today's 42 minutes of actual show. And yes, without STAR TREK and it's long life in reruns, there certainly would not have been any STAR WARS. There is an apochryphal story about a meeting between George Lucas and TREK's Gene Roddenberry, shortly after Episode IV came out. George didn't know what to do about fans writing their own stories in fanzines, dressing up in costumes, and playing in his universe. Gene wisely told him, "Let them alone, and they'll make you rich beyond your wildest dreams of avarice." At the 10th Anniversary STAR WARS Creation Convention in Los Angeles (aka Celebration 0), Gene Roddenberry was on hand in person to congratulate George on the first 10 years of SW. So raise a glass of Saurian Brandy or Romulan Ale tonight, and tune in TVLand at 8:00 for the first ever aired TREK episode, and 3 other fan favorites and important milestones. As they used to say: Keep on Trekkin Live Long and Prosper.