THE MARK TWAIN CENTENNIAL, 1835-1935 169
THE MARK TWAIN CENTENNIAL, 1835-1935
BY ROY T. KING
To commemorate the birth of Mark Twain on November
30, 1835, Missouri will pay him tribute this centennial year.
His youthful experiences here furnished the romantic background of his immortal Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
Through these and other tales the world has come to know
his birthplace, Florida, his boyhood home, Hannibal, and his
native state, Missouri.
Missouri has cherished his memory. In 1913 the State
of Missouri erected a memorial statue of the author in River-
view Park at Hannibal and a bust at Florida. The birth of
Mark Twain in Florida has been commemorated by the
establishment of the Mark Twain Memorial Park. The
editors of northeast Missouri formed an association in 1924,
which purchased land adjoining Florida and dedicated the
park. In 1925 it was formerly presented to the State, and
has since been improved and maintained by the State. In
it is the house purchased and given by the late M. A. Violette
of Florida as the birthplace of Mark Twain.
In 1935 Governor Guy B. Park appointed a Mark Twain
Centennial Committee consisting of George A. Mahan, chairman, Hannibal; Daniel Violette, Florida; George H. Williams,
St. Louis; Hugh Stephens, Jefferson City; Floyd C. Shoemaker, Columbia; Burris Jenkins, Kansas City; and Lloyd W.
King, Jefferson City, to encourage the proper observance of
The Clemens home at Hannibal was purchased in 1911
by Mr. and Mrs. George A. Mahan, who later presented it to
the city as a public memorial. Near the home and at the
foot of Cardiff Hill they and their son Dulany in 1926 erected
a bronze statue of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
A number of appropriate metal markers have been erected
by Mr. Mahan on highways leading into the city and at
various points throughout the city calling attention to the
scenes of Mark Twain's boyhood.