Lifestyle & Belief

Nichelle Nichols tweets photo of President Obama flashing the Vulcan salute


President Barack Obama and Nichelle Nichols in the Oval Office on Feb. 29, 2012.


Nichelle Nichols via Twitter

We already know President Barack Obama likes science fairs.

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Now, there’s even more evidence that Obama is a geek at heart. Actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the television series “Star Trek,” recently tweeted a photograph of her and the president in the Oval Office taken in February. In the picture, they are both giving the Vulcan salute – a hand gesture with fingers parted between the middle and ring finger, used by Vulcan characters on the sci-fi series. As Entertainment Weekly noted, Obama’s gesture is “the kind of Vulcan salute you only get by practicing in the mirror.”

Earlier, Nichols had tweeted: “Months ago Pres Obama was quoted as saying that he’d had a crush on me when he was younger. I asked about that & he proudly confirmed it!” the Washington Post reported.

It’s apparently not the first time Obama has flashed the Vulcan salute to a member of the “Star Trek” cast. In 2008, actor Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock in the series, said Obama gave him the sign when he saw him at a political event during his presidential campaign, according to the Washington Post.

Nichols met President Obama on Feb. 29 after presenting the keynote address at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in observance of Black History Month, CNET reported. The interracial crew was unusual on TV when the series started in 1966, and in 1968, Nichols and William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk, shared American TV’s first on-screen interracial kiss, CNET reported.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last year, Nichols said civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talked her out of quitting the show early in its run because. She said he told her it was important for Americans to see black characters like Lt. Uhura – the Starship Enterprise’s communications officer – on the small screen.

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