Samuel Clemens first adopted the pen name “Mark Twain” on Feb. 3, 1863, under a letter written to the “Virginia City Territorial Enterprise”  newspaper. One hundred and fifty years later, “Mark Twain” is the most famous pen name in history.

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum will celebrate the sesquicentennial of the pen name “Mark Twain” with a lecture at 2 p.m. February 2 in the museum gallery.

Mark Twain
Hulton Archive

Curator Henry Sweets will trace Clemens’ use of various pen names throughout the years, including “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass” and “Rambler” and explain the author’s final choice of “Mark Twain.” He’ll discuss several possible meanings of the name and whether someone else might have used the pen name first.

The talk is free and open to the public. The museum gallery is located at 120 N. Main St. in Hannibal. Call Mai Conrad at 573-221-9010, ext. 401, for reservations.

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