Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born 127 years ago on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. For what has become an annual tradition, fans around the world will toast the author of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” on the anniversary of his birthday.

J.R.R. Tolkien set the standard for legendary tale-telling. He inspired generations of authors and creators with his incredible imagination.

To celebrate his work and enduring memory, The Tolkien Society invites fans of the books and films set in Middle-earth to drink a toast at 9:00 p.m. local time, and share a photo on social media with the hashtag #TolkienBirthdayToast.

The Toast

After Bilbo left the Shire on his eleventy-first birthday in “The Lord of the Rings,” Frodo toasted his uncle’s birthday each year on 22 September. In that tradition, participants only need to raise a glass, choice of beverage optional, and say the words before drinking:

“The Professor!”

In addition to writing some of the most famous fantasy stories of all time, Tolkien spent decades working as a professor at Oxford University, before he died on September 2, 1973.

Tolkien’s work is of special local interest, because since the late 1950s his original manuscripts have been housed at Marquette University’s library. For 2019, the Department of Special Collections will host public showings of selected documents from the collection.

These showings are open to members of the campus community and the general public. The event also includes a show-and-tell style presentation, conducted by the collection’s curator. Visitors will have the opportunity to take a closer look at the manuscript selections, but no photography is permitted and space is limited. Viewing for 2019 will take place on January 18, March 22, May 17, July 19, September 20, and November 15.

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New Line Cinema and The Tolkien Society