All of you who have used Google's services today will have noticed that today is Mark Twain's 176th birthday, and I would like to further acknowledge his greatness.
Born in Missouri as Samuel Langhourne Clemens on November 30, 1835, he was the author of the iconic novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as well as The Prince and the Pauper. In his time, he wrote several novels and short stories, as well as numerous essays, plays, satires, poetry, and even autobiographical work. It is unanimous that his writing has greatly influenced both American literature as a genre and literature as a whole for the better. Twain died of a heart attack April 21, 1910, upon which President William Howard Taft said:
"Mark Twain gave pleasure – real intellectual enjoyment – to millions, and his works will continue to give such pleasure to millions yet to come... His humor was American, but he was nearly as much appreciated by Englishmen and people of other countries as by his own countrymen. He has made an enduring part of American literature."
I feel that there is a lot to be said in tribute to Mark Twain, but I don't have the time or space to outline it all for you, which leaves me feeling a bit guilty for trying. I totally agree with President Taft that his work was American - for me it is symbolic of America itself, and reading his works have been a delight both as a younger teenager and now. I just thought it was important to say so.