September 21st in nerd history: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

September 21st in nerd history: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
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Happy Miniature Golf Day! Of all the major sports out there, golf has definitely done the best job at taking things mini. Mini-golf also gave me one of my greatest sports moments when I hit a hole-in-one on the 8th hole at Putt-Putt and earned myself a free small Frosty from Wendy's.

This is The Reset Button from Classic Nerd, resetting your day.

September 21 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on September 21st for those of us know you are but what are we?

I.

Birthdays of honor: Stephen King (1947), Bill Murray (1950), H. G. Wells (1866), Leonard Cohen (1934), Chuck Jones (1912), Luke Wilson (1971), Alfonso Ribeiro (1971), Liam Gallagher (1972), Jerry Bruckheimer (1943), Dave Coulier (1959).

II.

On September 21st, 1937, George Allen & Unwin published the first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. They printed about 1,500 copies and sold out quickly. Today, The Hobbit has sold more than 100 million copies.

It was met almost instantly with wide critical acclaim and popular appeal. But its sales were initially limited due to paper rationing during WWII, and these early editions were hard to come by. Tolkien designed the dust jacket and provided his own illustrations.

As you might imagine, all of this has made that first run quite valuable. But you can totally get your hands on one — if you've got about $100,000 to spare.

III.

There was a time when professional football wasn't televised live every Monday night. I call those years the Dark Times.

Tonight in 1970 that all changed when Monday Night Football aired for the first time on ABC, where it remained until ESPN took things over in 2006 — the same year the NFL added a new night of football for only the second time ever, this time on Thursdays.

The question of whether you were ready for some football was first posed by Hank Williams Jr., and became the only intro I care about for MNF in 1989.

During that first Monday broadcast, the Cleveland Browns beat the New York Jets, 31-21.

IV.

Today is the day noted in Earth, Wind, & Fire's hit song, "September."

Oddly enough, the song actually came out in November of 1978. So I guess they were just really nostalgic for like two months earlier?

The song asks, simply:

Do you remember
The 21st night of September?

It's one of the band's signature songs, hitting no. 1 on the Hot R&B Songs chart and no. 8 on the Hot 100.

V.

One of the few bands who successfully managed a transition from respectable '80s coolness to '90s rock stars called it quits today in 2011, when R.E.M. announced they were hanging it up after one of the greatest careers in rock history.

Forming in Athens, Georgia, in 1980, the band has sold more than 90 million records worldwide, releasing 15 studio albums, five live albums, 14 compilation albums, one remix album, one soundtrack album, 12 video albums, seven EPs, 63 singles, and 77 music videos (!!).

I've been to Athens exactly one time, and while I didn't see Michael Stipe, I met at least three people who had seen him. Like your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, he's a hero whose sightings aren't exactly rare but still revered.