October 20 in Sci-Fi History: A Lord of the Rings two-fer

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Mar 26, 2021, 12:00 AM EDT (Updated)

It was on this day in 1955 that J.R.R. Tolkien published the final installment in the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Return of the King.

Tolkein famously thought the title gave away the ending, and had originally titled it The War of the Ring. He was ultimately convinced otherwise by his publisher, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Coincidentally, today is also the birthday of actor Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in the film version. 

Mortensen was born on this day in 1958 in New York City, and has been in movies such as Carlito’s Way, G.I. Jane, and the very excellent Captain Fantastic.

It was also on this day in 1930 that Sherlock Holmes was first broadcast as a radio show on NBC. It’s strangely compelling as a listen, particularly on a long car ride. Give it a whirl.

Tomorrow: No bellybutton Saturday.