Gojira premiered this day in 1954. Easily my favourite movie of all time. I didn't see the original Gojira for almost a decade after I saw King of the Monster. Both movies are good but I love the dark somber tone of the original, I find that the American re-edit robbed Gojira of that. I recognize it was important to do this in order to bring Godzilla to a broader audience, but it took Gojira from masterpiece of sci-fi, to a good monster movie.
It often gets overlooked by the Godzilla fan community because it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the film canon. When you think 'Godzilla' you tend to think of the monster wrestling flicks of the 60's and 70's, not this depressing though provoking movie. This is my go-to movie when I'm trying to introduce new people to these movies. It's easy to dismiss Godzilla movies as cheese-fests (and some of them are), the original breaks down those walls.
So crack a Sapporo and toast the big guy, and all the people who have brought him to us!