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The Mark Twain House

Happy Birthday, Mark Twain, comedy godfather of Stewart and Colbert

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Happy birthday, Mark Twain! You’re 179 years old, but America still loves you—in fact, Smithsonian magazine has just ranked you the country’s number one pop icon ever. Number one—ahead of Elvis Presley, Madonna, Bob Dylan, and Michael Jackson. Twain (born Samuel Langhorne Clemens) is, of course, America’s most important literary figure. But it’s not just iconic works like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (widely considered to be the first great American novel), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and The Prince and the Pauper that help assure a special place for Twain in America’s heart. It’s also his indomitable personality, keen wit, and dedication as a satirist and social critic that’s kept his image…

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