Monday, November 30, 2009

Samuel Clemens born

Samuel L. Clemens
(1835- 1910)

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on this date in 1835 in Florida, Missouri. His family moved to Hannibal, Missouri when he was four and it was growing up in this small town on the banks of the Mississippi that formed the basis for his famous novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Clemens later achieved his childhood dream of becoming a pilot on a Mississippi river steamboat.

When the Civil War shut down river traffic Clemens went west and began his career as a newspaper reporter and writer in earnest. He adopted the pen name Mark Twain, a term used on the Mississippi for water depth (two fathoms). During his lifetime Samuel Clemens achieved world wide fame for his novels and writings. He died on April 21, 1910 in Redding, Connecticut.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Semper Fidelis

Today is the Marines Corps Birthday. On November 10, 1775 the Second Continental Congress authorized the raising of two battalions of Continental Marines. Tradition has it that Captain Samuel Nicholas began the first recruiting drive at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Marines have fought with distinction in all of the nations wars but in modern times their reputation was cemented by their actions at Belleau Wood in World War One and in the Pacific theatre of World War Two. The bloody actions on Guadalcanal, Tarawa and most famously the fighting and the raising of the flag over Iwo Jima have ingrained the memory of their sacrifice in the minds of the American people. Semper Fi!