Happy Birthday to Samuel Langhorn Clemens, otherwise known as Mark Twain.
The great humorist and novelist was born on November 30, 1835. Ernest Hemingway said that all American literature begins with Twain's novel, Huckleberry Finn.
I grew up reading Mark Twain and then I've reread him as an adult. I love his novels, but I also love his nonfiction (although the books have some stretchers, as Twain admits).
I've read and reread Life On the Mississippi, Roughing It and his wonderful autobiography, which, as he wrote in the forward, he wrote from the grave (it was published after he died).
"Humor is Mankind's greatest blessing," Twain wrote.
And having Twain on earth for 75 years was one of Mankind's greatest blessings.
If you have not read Twain, I recommend that you do. If you have not read him in years or since you were a child, I suggest you reread him.
I visited Mark Twain's old Hartford home back in 1998 and I wrote about the visit in my column in the old South Philadelphia American.
You can read the column here