Letter to Touro Synagogue

In 1790, Moses Seixas of the Touro Synagogue wrote a letter to President Washington. Representing a people who had been escaping persecution for generations, he wanted...

On Maintaining an Army

Before George Washington was president, he was a great general. He understood not only how to lead men into battle, but also how to keep them fighting when things became bleak....

The Pursuit and Capture of Chief Joseph

In 1877, the U.S. government ordered the Nez Perce Indians to leave their tribal lands in the Pacific Northwest for a reservation in Idaho. Though this mandate violated previous...

An Undelivered Speech

Mark Twain was commissioned to deliver this speech before the virgin voyage of the St. Paul steamship. On the day of its scheduled departure from Philadelphia to England, however,...

Independence Day

It may seem odd that Mark Twain delivered a 4th of July speech in London in 1907. Aside from poking fun at the American obsession with fireworks and drunken revelry, however, the...

Sixty-Seventh Birthday

When prompted to give a speech at his sixty-seventh birthday party, Mark Twain was at no loss for wit. Several notable individuals proceeded him, heaping compliments upon him, so...

Seventieth Birthday

At his seventieth birthday party, Mark Twain delivered this delightful retrospective of his life. He dished out sarcastic advice on how he’d made it so far, discussing diet,...

When in Doubt Tell the Truth

This Mark Twain speech is not the origin of his infamous quote. Instead, Twain delivered it as a response to this phrase being used earlier in the evening at a society dinner...

The Luck of Roaring Camp

When a Cherokee Sal dies giving birth to her son in a prospecting camp, the gold miners adopt him as their own. They name him Thomas Luck, as he seems to indicate a change in...

The Cask of Amontillado

Edgar Allan Poe is a master of short horror stories, and “The Cask of Amontillado” is among his finest. This woeful tale comes from a mysterious narrator seeking revenge...

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