"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare."

Monday, October 6, 2008

Redding's Mark Twain Library Celebrates Centennial

On October 11, 1908, Samuel Clemens--upon discovering that his new hometown of Redding, Connecticut had no library--donated 3,000 books and opened one in a small abandoned chapel on the outskirts of his property. This Saturday, 100 years to the day, Redding's Mark Twain Library will commemorate the anniversary.

In the morning, children are encouraged to attend a birthday party dressed up as their favorite storybook characters. In the afternoon, historian Dan Cruson will present the lecture, "The Impact of Mark Twain in Connecticut". A reception will follow.

Twain did much to help found the library. For one, he tapped rich buddy Andrew Carnegie for a series of annual $500 donations for building a larger library, and also raised money through concerts and readings held at his "Stormfield" estate. Unfortunately, Twain didn't live to see the current library built, as construction did not begin until ten months after his death. Even more unfortunately, thanks to deterioration and lender "loss", only 300 of Twain's original 3,000 donated books remain in the library today.

If you live in the area and would like to attend the birthday bash, call 203-938-2545 for more information.

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