The first volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, was first published on July 21, 1954. It's difficult to think of a more influential book in the last 60 years, one that completely transformed (reinvented?) its genre.
Love it or hate it, it's hard to imagine a world with no Lord of the Rings. Without it, there'd likely be no fantasy genre as we know it, no Star Wars, no a lot of things.
(Note: This is the first of a series of Celebrations that will be posted on this blog over the next several months, marking birthdays or death days of favorite children's writers, or the publication date of important books. Other UCW bloggers are welcome to write their own Celebrations of their own favorites.)