Tag Archives: Birthday


Sam Clemens celebrated his 39th birthday on November 30, 1874 with his wife, Livy, and their two young daughters. Both Sam and Livy’s birthdays fell in close proximity to the Thanksgiving holiday. It was naturally a season dense with revelry and gift-giving, mostly focused around the children, but Livy did not forget her husband, presenting him with the recently-published first edition of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Hanging of the Crane, illustrated by Mary Hallock and Thomas Moran. It is a gift rich Read more…


In 1905, Thanksgiving Day fell on the 30th of November, which also happened to be Sam Clemens’s 70th birthday. In his autobiography, he claims an effort was made “to get the President to select another day for the national Thanksgiving, and I furnished him with arguments to use which I thought persuasive and convincing.” Among these was that “the original reason for a Thanksgiving Day has long ago ceased to exist – the Indians have long ago been comprehensively and Read more…


On Monday, November 30th, as part of our celebration of Mark Twain’s 180th birthday, Elmira College will host Andrew Levy. Earlier this year, Dr. Levy’s book, Huck Finn’s America, became something of a lightning rod in perpetual debates about the purpose and prescience of Twain’s most famous novel. Discussion of Dr. Levy’s argument spilled out of the pages of academic journals and into popular publications like The New York Times, New Yorker, and even The Financial Times. Dr. Levy believes Read more…

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