A Brief History of STARFLEET International
Given that STARFLEET International is the largest and longest-running Star Trek fan club, you can imagine the history involved is pretty extensive. We’ve tried to pare it down a bit and give you a glimpse of our time in the universe. Here’s a brief overview of our founding and some of the things you can expect in the modern ‘FLEET.
In the Beginning…
In 1973, John Bradbury and a group of Texas-based Star Trek fans decided to proclaim their love of all things Trek by forming their own fan club, the USS Enterprise. Under Bradbury’s leadership, the little club did many of the same things modern STARFLEET chapters do: Fundraisers, costuming, parties, newsletters, and fan publications. Most importantly, though, the Enterprise had ambition beyond just being a tiny group of friends. The Enterprise wanted to grow, and see other fans .
And grow they did! The little fan club that could soon attracted members from across Texas, and as people recognized the fun and camaraderie that they could be having if they joined – or formed – a similar club of their own, people began asking if they could start their own clubs in their local areas, based around the central USS Enterprise. Enterprise command staff held a meeting shortly thereafter to discuss the future of the budding organization. From the discussion, STARFLEET was born.
…There was STARFLEET.
On May 23rd, 1974, the first issue of the newly fledged organization’s newsletter (which was then called STARFLEET Communications), made the grand announcement: “The USS Enterprise has been reorganized, effective Stardate 2538.0. It will henceforth be known as STARFLEET, due to directives determined during reorganization.” With this statement, a major organization begun to take shape. STARFLEET shaped itself into chapters, named after ships, which sprung up across the country. By the end of that first year, STARFLEET had 14 healthy chapters spread across the US, and their newsletter was fast becoming known as the premier source for Trek news.
Not bad for a brand new ‘FLEET!
The Modern ‘FLEET.
In the many years that have followed since our founding, STARFLEET has continued to grow and adapt, surviving (and even thriving) through command changes and fandom splits, the lack of a new series for several years, and other issues both internal and external. We’ve come out the other side of it all strong and ready to grow even more, the spark of Roddenberry’s vision for a better world today and a better future tomorrow driving us on.
In the modern STARFLEET, you’ll find thousands of fans in hundreds of worldwide chapters that meet both in person or online/by mail, all equally dedicated to the friendship and courage that Star Trek espouses. Some perform great works of charity, some help educate people, some provide a place to expand your costuming and prop making expertise. We’re present at many different Sci-Fi and Fandom conventions every year. There’s even chapters of Star Trek roleplayers, if you’re looking to take on the personna of a Vulcan science officer for yourself. The ‘FLEET contains people from many different walks of life and backgrounds, and we’d be more than happy to have you in our ranks. With your help and unique input, you can help STARFLEET International live long and prosper!