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On this day in pop culture history: Trekkies gathered for the first ‘Star Trek’ convention

21 January 2016 8:30 AM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Fan conventions are big business now, with attendees paying hundreds of dollars for front-row seats, autographs, and photo ops with their favorite TV stars. But in 1972, a convention that gathered fans and gave them the chance to meet their TV idols was a rather new concept. It was in that year, from January 21-23, that Trekkies got together for what’s often recognized as the first true “Star Trek” convention. A convention specifically for enthusiasts of the Gene Roddenberry show had been organized before — in March 1969, at the Newark Public Library — though that event did not have any celebrity guests. It did feature a slide show of “Star Trek” aliens, skits, and a fan panel discussion. The January 1972 con was held at the Statler Hilton Hotel (now Hotel Pennsylvania) in New York, and among the celebrity guests were Roddenberry, Majel Barrett, D.C. Fontana. The legend goes that 500 people were expected to attend, »

- Emily Rome

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