Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR, in which Tom gets immortalized in print

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR on Project Gutenberg

Newspapers were quite popular in Mark Twain’s youth.  They signified that a town was established and the population educated.  When he worked at newspapers, first as an apprentice, then for his brother Orion, Twain would fill space with humorous stories and anecdotes.  Despite the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg, newspapers were slow in arriving and disseminating the news. 

Your mission for this chapter:

Using this website:, answer the following question.  Which country passed the first law protecting freedom of the press, and when?

FUN FACT: After his father died when he was twelve, Samuel Clemens was apprenticed to the local newspaper.  When his brother Orion returned home from his job as a journeyman at a newspaper in St. Louis, Orion began a second newspaper, The Hannibal Journal, and hired his younger brother to work for him.  Sam assisted and sometimes wrote humorous sketches, one of which even appeared in Eastern newspapers in 1852—“The Dandy Frightening the Squatter.” Once, when Orion had to leave town and left young Sam in charge, Sam took the opportunity to add some flavor to the Journal signing one sketch with his first pseudonym, “W. Epaminodnas Adrastus Perkins.”  Though his antics momentarily captured the town’s attention, his brother was less than pleased and issued a retraction upon his return.

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