In honor of Mark Twain’s 176th birthday today, Google has created for their home page a doodle depicting the famous fence painting scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. While it may seem like an odd milestone to celebrate, the fact is, nothing else of note has ever happened on this date in American history.
So, let’s whoop it up for Twain, for his life’s work has entertained multiple generations with his unique vernacular and poignant social commentary that some well-intentioned lunatics would like to censor at this late stage (we’ve already read it, anyhow, so ha-ha on them).
And now, I’d like to gift you all with a quote from Mark Twain’s 70th birthday speech:
“I have achieved my seventy years in the usual way: by sticking strictly to a scheme of life which would kill anybody else. It sounds like an exaggeration, but that is really the common rule for attaining to old age. When we examine the programme of any of these garrulous old people we always find that the habits which have preserved them would have decayed us; that the way of life which enabled them to live upon the property of their heirs so long, as Mr. Choate says, would have put us out of commission ahead of time. I will offer here, as a sound maxim, this: That we can’t reach old age by another man’s road.”
The Complete Mark Twain Collection, an illustrated compilation of over 300 of the author’s works (with full table of contents), is only $1.99 for the Kindle. There’s also plenty of Mark Twain’s books for FREE for the Kindle (although, they might not be so nicely formatted).