Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hannibal - home to Mark Twain

I love our country. Not necessarily what our country is becoming, or what it has always been, but the ideas and concepts our country was founded on. One of the cool things about our country is the many great Americans our country has produced. On this trek across the USA I hope to learn more about some of these amazing Americans of history and in the process teach my kids about them too.

This is why we stopped in Hannibal, Missouri to visit Mark Twain's Boyhood home and Museum and then later camp at Mark Twain State Park. Mark Twain was not just a great storyteller and philosopher, but he was a man acquainted with tragedy, including the death of his brother at age 10 and finding a murdered body. He once loaned matches to a vagrant who was later arrested. In prison the vagrant lit the match for a cigarette and caught his bed on fire. The jail keeper was gone and no one could let the poor man out of jail as it burned down so he died. Mark Twain (AKA Samuel Clemens) always remembered that the night. So many people in those days knew death and tragedy as an intimate friend.

We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty. - Mark Twain

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