Today, April 21, 2010, is the 100th anniversary of the death of American author and humorist Mark Twain. Twain died in his 75th year of a heart attack at his home in Redding, CT.
April 21, 2010 has been proclaimed Mark Twain Day in Connecticut.
Twain is the author of Extracts from Adam’s Diary which I have been reviewing and critiquing in the current series of blog posts. Today’s anniversary of his death will begin a sub-series of posts on facets of Twain’s life which interested me.
This year also marks the 175th anniversary of his birth and the 125th anniversary of the publication of his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, but he is best known by his pen name, Mark Twain.
He took this pen name from riverboat men calling out depth soundings on the Mississippi River. The call “mark twain” indicated the boat was in safe water two fathoms (12 feet) deep.
In 1883 in Life on the Mississippi, Twain explained more about his choice of pen name:
“Captain Isaiah Sellers was not of literary turn or capacity, but he used to jot down brief paragraphs of plain practical information about the river, and sign them “MARK TWAIN”, and give them to the New Orleans Picayune. They related to the stage and condition of the river, and were accurate and valuable. At the time that the telegraph brought the news of his death, I was on the Pacific coast. I was a fresh new journalist, and needed a nom de guerre; so I confiscated the ancient mariner’s discarded one, and have done my best to make it remain what it was in his hands – a sign and symbol and warrant that whatever is found in its company may be gambled on as being the petrified truth; how I have succeeded, it would not be modest in me to say.”
Twain’s grave at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, New York has a monument 12 feet high (2 fathoms–“mark twain”). He was buried next to his wife in her hometown.
The next post, 10. Adam’s Diary – Mark Twain II, will continue with Twain’s life.
Read the prequels in this series on Adam’s Diary:
1. Adam’s Diary – A New Creature
2. Adam’s Diary – Naming the Animals
3. Adam’s Diary – Garden of Eden
4. Adam’s Diary – “We”
5. Adam’s Diary – Sunday
6. Adam’s Diary – Eve
7. Adam’s Diary – Niagara Falls
8. Adam’s Diary – Escape
Read the sequel:
10. Adam’s Diary – Mark Twain II
©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
Wednesday April 21, 2010 A.D.
Read my April 2010 Bible-Science column
Is This a Contradiction?.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.