This Day in Science Fiction: Sept. 3 – Sept. 9

Some weeks from Sci-Fi history stand out a bit more than others, but don’t be fooled: there are plenty of our beloved franchises on display.  Some of them are a bit more obscure, but they’re still worth mentioning.  So, without further ado, here’s this week’s summary of the peoples, places, and events deserving your immediate, undivided attention.


Did you know that some would have you believe that Sept. 3, 1752 never happened?  That’s when England adopted the Gregorian Calendar, which eliminated 11 days from the lives of its residents. In response, they rioted. The 24th World SF Convention honored Gene Roddenberry in 1966.  In 1993, cinemas gave Christopher Lambert hard time in the sci-fi actioner, FORTRESS.  Auspicious birthdays include SUPERMAN – THE MOVIE’s Valerine Perrine (1943), Captain Kirk’s screen-son Merritt Butrick (1959), and TRON: LEGACY’s Garrett Hedlund (1984).


All the way back in 1682, English astronomer Edmund Halley saw the comet that bears his name. Coincidence? I think not. In 1956, IBM unveiled the RAMAC 305, the first commercial computer to use magnetic disk storage. Auspicious birthdays include legendary FUTURAMA voice actor John Di Maggio (1968) and genre babe Patricia Tallman (1957).


1977 isn’t only remembered for STAR WARS. Sept. 5, 1977 also marked the launch of Voyager 1. Even up to today, the space probe still collects and sends limited data back to Earth. On this day in 2003, South Korea put its sci-fi flick, NATURAL CITY, in cinemas. Auspicious birthdays include the ever-lovely Raquel Welch (1940), BATMAN’s Michael Keaton (1951), and PLANET TERROR’s Rose McGowan (1973).


Methinks Skynet took its first, humble step in 1989 when a faulty police computer falsely accused 41,000 Parisians of murder and prostitution. Gotta love machines! In 1994, actor Jackson Pinckney successfully sued “actor” Jean-Claude Van Damme for being partially blinded during the filming of CYBORG. Gotta love machines, too! Auspicious birthdays include STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION’s Patti Yasutake (1953), (the original) BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s Anne Lockhart (1953), and PROMETHEUS’s Idris Elba (1972).


A solar eclipse on this day in 1251 BC marks the birth of legendary Heracles (aka Hercules) at Thebes, Greece. In 1927, Philo Farnsworth demonstrated the first use of television. And, in 1998, Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Auspicious birthdays include THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO’s William Katt (1951), LOST’s Michael Emerson (1954), BABYLON 5’s Mira Furlan (1955), and screenwriter Alex Kurtzman (1973).



Trekkies, Trekkers, and Trek enthusiasts all know the story well, but it’s worth repeating: Star Trek officially got its start on this day back in 1966 when “The Man Trap” aired on NBC. Sure, it wasn’t the show’s original pilot, but the studio liked and disliked “The Cage” so much they couldn’t pass up giving Gene Roddenberry one more try. The rest, as they say, is history. In 1980, Roger Corman’s BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS hit silver screens. Auspicious birthdays include screenwriter Willard Huyck (1945), sci-fi novelist Lynn/Marilyn Abbey (1948), and actor Martin Freeman (1971).



Manned flight took a small step forward when, in 1908, Orville Wright completed the first 1-hour airplane flight. 1967 marked the first successful test flight of the Saturn V, the rocket that would ultimately deliver man to the moon. And, in 1983, Radio Shack paved the way for gamers to eventually become couch potatoes as they announced their first color computer, the Coco2. Auspicious birthdays include E.T.’s Henry Thomas (1971), LOST IN SPACE’s Angela Cartwright (1952), STAR TREK’s Jeffrey Combs (1954).

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  1. Well I’ll be damned, there was actually some sci-fi stuff in this article. Good job! Though, it was still mostly science instead of science fiction. The 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th didn’t involve any sci-fi, but you actually included brief snippets in the other dates, which makes this by default the best article you have written on the subject of sci-fi. Keep it up, you’re sure to write a legitimate sci-fi article one of these weeks!

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