In honor of Mark Twain’s birthday

Mark Twain liked to entertain and be entertained, but his 70th birthday party was truly an evening to be remembered. Thrown by Colonel George Harvey, the editor of Harper’s Weekly, at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York, it included a souvenir pamphlet, and speeches were given by luminaries of the day.

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Mark Twain’s 70th birthday celebration, December 5, 1905, Delmonico’s Restaurant, New York. Courtesy of the Mark Twain Papers, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

In honor of Mark Twain’s birthday this year, we invite you to celebrate on November 30th.

Not feeling up for staging a grand party? Here are some suggestions to whet your appetite for revelry.

  • Host an intimate affair including some of his favorite foods. Oysters and champagne remain a perennial favorite, or peruse this list for a menu of your own making.
  • Dress as the man himself. It is Movember, after all.
  • Play charades, a favored game of the Clemens family.
  • Smoke a cigar (one at a time, please).
  • Raise a glass of his esteemed “cock-tail” (see slideshow below for recipe).
  • Curl up with a copy of your favorite Mark Twain book.

However you choose to pay homage, get creative and share your photos using #HBDMarkTwain on Instagram (uc_press) and Twitter (@ucpress) between now and December 1st. Two entrants will be randomly selected to receive complete sets of the Autobiography (Volumes 1-3).