Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum designated a Literary Landmark by ALTAFF

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/24/2010


Jillian Kalonick

PHILADELPHIA – The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Mo., was designated a Literary Landmark by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum includes six properties that are on the National Register of Historic Places, including two interactive museums and his boyhood home, which was built in the 1840s and opened to the public in 1912. Twain lived in Hannibal from age 4 to 17. The experiences that Samuel Clemens took from Hannibal became part of American culture through his writings as Mark Twain.

The Literary Landmark dedication, held April 24, featured a performance by Dr. George Frein, distinguished scholar and living presenter who, as Mark Twain, talked about his life as a Mississippi River pilot. Dr. Frein also fielded questions from the audience afterwards, again as Twain.

The dedication was part of the Year of Mark Twain ( The year 2010 marks the 175th anniversary of Twain’s birth, the 125th anniversary of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. As part of the celebration, ReadMOre Missouri, the statewide program that invites Missourians to join in a statewide read, chose four of Twain’s short stories for libraries to read statewide: "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," "The £1,000,000 Bank Note," "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg" and "The Mysterious Stranger."

The Missouri Humanities Council, ReadMOre Missouri and the Hannibal Free Public Library joined ALTAFF in supporting this Literary Landmark dedication.

The Literary Landmarks Association was founded in 1986 by former Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) president Frederick G. Ruffner to encourage the dedication of historic literary sites. In 1989, the Literary Landmark project became an official FOLUSA committee. The Literary Landmark program continues under ALTAFF, the newly formed division of ALA created by the joining of FOLUSA and the Association for Library Trustees and Friends (ALTA). More than 100 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated since the program began. Any library or citizens group may apply for a Literary Landmark through ALTAFF; for more information, visit

ALTAFF is a division of ALA with approximately 5,000 Friends of the Library, Trustee, Foundation and individual members and affiliates representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. Begun in early 2009, the new division brings together Trustees and Friends into a partnership that unites the voices of citizens for libraries to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information about ALTAFF, please contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or