The Federation was born after nine months of planning and designing by ‘Star Trek’ creator Gene Roddenberry and Federation founder Russ Haslage. Haslage became a fan of the humanitarian message he saw in ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture.’ After seeing the humanitarian message continuing in ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,’ Haslage went on the search for a fan club.
Unable to find an organization that focused on the human condition in which Haslage was so interested, he decided to take a bold step and start his own. Wanting to do things right, he called Gene Roddenberry.
Throwing caution to the wind on that September day, Haslage called Paramount Pictures and asked to speak with Mr. Roddenberry. The switchboard put the call through.
Susan Sackett answered and explained that Roddenberry wasn’t in at that time and graciously took Haslage’s contact information.
“That has got to be the most polite corporate brushoff ever,” thought Haslage to himself after hanging up the telephone. Ten days later, Haslage got a call. It was Roddenberry.
“After what seemed like an eternity of stammering and stuttering, I was finally able to put together a complete and cohesieve sentence, explaining to Gene my fandom experience and interest,” reported Haslage. “Then I asked the big question. What do YOU think the ultimate ‘Star Trek’ fan club should do?”
Roddenberry replied,” What does the crew of the Enterprise do in every episode?” After almost an hour of coaching and teaching, Gene lead Haslage to the answer. “They go places and help people. That is what the ultimate Star Trek fan club should do.”
At that moment, The Federation was created. The organization would open its bay doors to fans on June 1, 1984 (opening night of ‘Star Trek III: The Search for Spock’).
Roddenberry continued in his role as Executive Consultant to The Federation until his death in 1991.
We work hard today in the hopes that the future will be bright, as it is in the ‘Star Trek’ mythos. There may not the starships or Klingons, but perhaps mankind can find a time when everyone is of value; where we can work together, embracing our differences and overcome all obstacles that cause suffering. Let’s find a bright future where everyone, and especially mankind as a whole, can really reach its full potential.