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Happy Birthday Mark Twain!

One hundred fifty years ago today, on February 3, 1863, Samuel Clemens for the first time signed an article with the pen name “Mark Twain.” Little did he know…


  1. A bit of semantics are involved here, or at least a caveat. Samuel L. Clemens wrote the article in question on Saturday, January 31, signing it and mailing it from Carson City to Virginia City that day. The Enterprise was a morning paper, and the printers did not work on Sunday, so the article was published on Tuesday, February 3, 1863.
    Reading the article, I for one feel it was not the first time he signed an article “Mark Twain.” It seems, for instance, he had already established “The Unreliable” (C.T. Rice of the oppositon newspaper). So it is more accurate to say that one hundred fifty years ago, on February 3, 1863, the first known article by Samuel L. Clemens that was signed “Mark Twain” was published. . .

  2. taomandolin says:

    Good point! I was just pasting what I had seen elsewhere, and I should have fact checked more carefully. I had a lingering doubt about that date. Thanks!

    John Bird

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