First contact with the Gorn occurred in 2267, when they attacked the Federation colony on Cestus III. The Gorn saw the strike as a preemptive move, since they regarded the Cestus system as part of their territory.
James T. Kirk was the first Federation officer to physically confront a Gorn following his pursuit of their vessel in response to the attack on Cestus III. This pursuit attracted the attention of the Metrons, a highly advanced race who opposed conflict within their territory. They transported Kirk and the Gorn captain to a prepared planet and forced them to battle there. This deed was meant as a punishment, but ultimately, Kirk spared the Gorn captain; the mercy displayed by Kirk's refusal caused the observing Metron to think of the conflict as a test, which Humans had passed.
The Gorn had contact with the Orion Syndicate as early as 2154. The name of their government was established as the Gorn Hegemony in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Bound" although, in the games "Star Trek: Starfleet Command" and "Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Empires at War" The Gorn's government was referred to as the "Gorn Confederation".
The Gorn made first contact with the Federation at Cestus III in 2267 when a misunderstanding nearly led to war (original series episode "Arena", the Gorn played by Bobby Clark). Although the Gorn made territorial claims, the Federation had a settlement there in 2371, indicating tension later softened.
According to Orion privateer Harrad-Sar in 2154, the Gorn government, known as the Gorn Hegemony, "brew the finest Meridor in the five star systems".
This, in combination with the appearance of a Gorn drinking from a glass in TAS, indicates that they consumed liquids.
The Gorn's first contact with the Federation took place in 2267, when the Gorn attacked a Federation colony on Cestus III. The Gorn saw the strike as a preemptive move, since they regarded the Cestus system as part of their territory. The USS Enterprise pursued a Gorn starship from Cestus III into a previously unexplored region of the galaxy, near 2466 PM. There, both starships were immobilized by the Metrons, who transported James T. Kirk and the Gorn captain to a planet's surface, where the two captains were instructed to settle their differences in a "contest... of ingenuity against ingenuity, brute strength against brute strength." Although the Gorn captain was physically stronger than Kirk, Kirk was able to construct a makeshift cannon out of materials on the planet's surface and defeat the Gorn. When Kirk showed mercy to his defeated opponent, the Metrons sent both captains back to their respective ships and transported the Enterprise out of the area.
In the alternate reality, the Federation and the Gorn made contact by 2259. Leonard McCoy mentioned he delivered live Gorn octuplets via a caesarean section and that they were rather vicious.
While on the Enterprise in 2268, Benjamin Sisko admitted to Jadzia Dax that he would like to ask Kirk about the fight with the Gorn captain during this encounter.
A Gorn served on the ruling council of the pocket dimension Elysia, in the late 23rd century. It is unknown how long members of his species had been trapped in that universe.
In Alan Dean Foster's novelization of "The Time Trap", the species name is misspelled "Gorin."