Today’s Google Doodle is an exceptionally beautiful tribute to one of the most famous American authors, Mark Twain. Pictured below, you can see that it is reminiscent of two of Twain’s most famous characters, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
This doodle reminds me so much of the innocence, and maybe a little bit of the mischief, of childhood. If you’re like me, seeing this will bring back the stories of two little boys who just wanted to experience their little world. It also reminds me of more innocent times when children were allowed to run and play without the fears we deal with today.
Mark Twain would have celebrated his 176th birthday today. According to Wikipedia, he was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835. His birthday came shortly after the closest approach of Halley’s Comet. An interesting tidbit is that Twain always said he came in with the comet and would probably leave with it too. As it turns out, on April 21, 1910, the day after the arrival of Halley’s comet, Twain did indeed pass away.
His early years were spent in Missouri. Back then, it was a slave state and definitely influenced his later writings. As a young man, he apprenticed for a printer and, later, traveled and worked as a printer in New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. He educated himself in the public libraries. He later returned to Missouri and became a steamboat pilot.
It is said that these travels down the river are what inspired his name. Two fathoms was apparently a safe depth for a river boat to pass through. The word “twain” was an old fashion way of saying two. So when the riverboat captains measured two fathoms they would “mark” it “twain”.
Of course, most remember Twain for two major works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some credit the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as the first great American novel. Hemingway was even quoted as saying, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Though I am a fan of his literature, I am also a big fan of Twain’s witty quotes. Here are some of my favorites:
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.