Sam and Olivia Clemens’ idyllic early years of marital happiness were shattered with the loss of their first child, Langdon, to diphtheria. Only one hundred years ago, even in the world’s wealthiest nations, children died in great numbers—of diarrhea, diphtheria and measles, of scarlet fever and meningitis. Culture was shaped by these deaths; diaries and letters recorded them, poets and writers wrote about and lamented them.
The near-conquest of infant and child mortality is one of our greatest human achievements. Perri Klass, MD pulls the story together for the first time, paying tribute to scientists, public health advocates, and groundbreaking women doctors who brought new scientific ideas about sanitation and vaccination to families.
For the first Trouble at Home program of 2021, the Mark Twain House is delighted to welcome Perri Klass to talk about her book, “A Good Time To Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future,” Langdon Clemens, and how measles plays a role in both Twain’s fiction and his autobiography. Klass will be interviewed by Director of Collections Jodi DeBruyne on Wednesday, January 13th at 5:30pm. This is a FREE event. To register: https://marktwainhouse.org/event/trouble-at-home-perri-klasss