3 January 1892: Merton Professor of English Language and Literature, World War I veteran, and, oh yeah, author of The Lord of the Rings, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born today in Bloemfontein, now part of South Africa. Regular readers of this series know that I don't usually include birthdays, but I'm invoking the Tolkien exception. Today, it is traditional for fans of "The Book" worldwide to toast Tolkien. So join me by standing at 9pm wherever you are, holding aloft a glass of whatever you happen to be drinking (USC fans will be practiced at this gesture), and saying aloud "The Professor." Then take a sip before sitting and finishing your beverage. Then watch and/or read the entirety of The Lord of the Rings (optional). Next year, let's all meet up at The Eagle and Child and do it right!