Thinking about Mark Twain on His Birthday

They sure don't make American icons like they used to.Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the man who "came in with Halley's Comet," was born on this day (November 30) back in 1835. Better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens was the great American icon of his time.For many Americans, the name Mark Twain generates a certain rush of warm feelings. We picture a distinctive-looking man seated with a smoking pipe (or cigar) in hand, wavy hair, thick mustache, and a white suit. We fondly recall his Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher characters as though they were real. We still laugh at Mr. Twain's many witticisms. Mark Twain was an American icon because without the help of a speechwriter, a teleprompter, a pair of fake Greek columns, and a larger-than-life broadcast screen, he could move an audience with his spontaneous oratory.Mark Twain was an American icon because without using a ghostwriter, he could write from his own head and heart and wondrously transmit the...(Read Full Article)