On this date in 1937, JRR Rolkien published The Hobbit. Yes, the Middle Earth crew is now a connivial 70.
Now, I like The Hobbit. But it's definitely not my favourite. However, without The Hobbit there would've been no Lord of the Rings, which kicks all kinds of ass.
Tolkien himself had a softspot for his Hobbit characters:
"I am in fact a hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated)...."
Love that unrefrigerated food. This also sheds some light on a recently re-discovered unpublished chapter from The Two Towers- "Aragorn eats some bad Egg Salad".