Google honors Mark Twain's birthday

Ane Howard · November 29, 2011 · Short URL:

Author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer gets his Doodle

The author of American classics "The  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1885) and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1876) is honored today with Google's latest doodle.

Mark Twain, whose birth name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens and was born on November 30, 1835, in the tiny village of Florida, Missouri is featured today's on Google homepage.

Previous doodle depictions of famous people have included Marie Curry, photographer Louis Daguerre , Disney illustrator Mary Blair and many others.

The Doodle depicts a naive scene of childhood between two boys whitewashing a fence.  The tale of whitewashing a fence is one of the highlight of theTom Sawyer story . And just as in the tale, the doodle illustrates how one of the boy burdened with the task of whitewashing convinces the other boy to do the work for him. The power of persuasion was never better served  than in Twain's stories. 

Twain is as famous for his great American novels than for his unpretentious, funny, irreverent, often satirical, remarks. "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt," he once said.

By the time he turned 34, he had become one of the most in-demand and famous writers in America and by the time of his death one of the most famous public personality in the world.

But tragedy did follow him in his personal life.

His marriage to the twenty-four year old Olivia (Livy) Langdon, in 1870 led to the birth of 4 children, but sadly 3 of them died. And after 34 years of mariage, his Livy died.  

Contrary to his public persona, following the death of his wife, Twain became a bitter old man.  "Much of the last decade of his life he lived in hell," writes Hamlin Hill, a Mark Twain scholar who wrote several books about Twain's life and writings. 

And as he predicted, having been born when the Halley's comet passed, he died on its return at the age of 74 of a heart attack. 

"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: "Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together." - Mark Twain



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Ane Howard

I am a social journalist covering technology innovations and the founder of, an international newswire.

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