In 1967, the city of Medford, OR was privy to a piece of Star Trek history.
Each year, the city of Medford, OR hosts the Pear Blossom Parade, which has now grown to over 25,000 participants. While there weren’t that many attendees back in 1967, when word got out that the Grand Marshall would be Leonard Nimoy appearing as his character from Star Trek: The Original Series, Mr. Spock, thousands of people showed up to see him and get his autograph.
As reported by KTVL, Nimoy was in Medford to promote The Original Series which had just concluded its first season and was gearing up for its second which would debut in September of that year. The crowd turnout was much more than Nimoy expected as he wrote in his 1995 memoir, I Am Spock. The actor was expecting to sign a few hundreds of autographs. Instead, he was shocked to see thousands of people in attendance, and the crowd created a dangerous situation which resulted in the local police having to help Nimoy get through the throng of people.
"The problem came after, when I was taken to a nearby park. A table was set up on the bandstand so that I could sign autographs. But instead of the hundreds I’d hoped to see, there were thousands of people there. They surged forward so quickly that I was terrified someone would be crushed to death; and then they started pressing against the bandstand so hard it began to sway beneath my feet! The people with me soon realized we were in trouble. Fortunately, the local police came to the rescue and pulled me through the throng!”…..So, as I said, I made sure never to appear publicly again in Vulcan guise. But the crowds still kept coming."
No one could have expected so many Star Trek fans to appear in Medford in 1967.
Star Trek had only been on the air for one year when Leonard Nimoy made his debut at the Pear Blossom Parade. (See picture here.) And no one could have predicted the amount of people who had fallen in love with the series. The crowd that appeared that day was just the beginning of the fans that would turn out to see Star Trek actors and characters over the years. But that day was also the last time Leonard Nimoy would ever appear in character off-screen. So those parade attendees got to see Mr. Spock in person for the first and only time. That’s a piece of Star Trek history no one else can lay claim to.