It was on this date, November 30, 1835, that American writer and humorist Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, but brought up in Hannibal, Missouri. Although first encountering writers by apprenticing to a printer, he became a Mississippi riverboat pilot and adopted his pen-name from the call – “Mark twain!” meaning two fathoms – used when sounding river shallows. He first used the pseudonym on 3 February 1863, in publishing a humorous travel essay.
Early on, his humor took an irreverent turn…
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Originally published October 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
"Religion," Rand noted, "is the first enemy of the ability to think. ...yet before they learn to think [men] are discouraged by being ordered to take things on faith. Faith is the worst curse of mankind."