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The New York Times, April 4, 1920


To the Editor of The New York Times:

In The Hartford Courant of March 30 there appeared on the first page protests from "people of national reputation *** over the threatened destruction of Mark Twain's home in Hartford, a literary and historic landmark, which the Society of Connecticut Artists is doing its utmost to save. Letters from every quarter of the country are daily swamping the society's headquarters at 92 Pratt Street, showing what a storm of indignation has been aroused by the proposed desecration."

It seems particularly fitting that this plan should be carried out successfully. We have few enough memorials of great artists and thinkers. Of Mark Twain there is the one at his birthplace, Hannibal, Mo., but it is said that the house called Stonyfield [sic], at Reading [sic], is falling into ruin. It is very likely that many may agree with President G. L. Mackintosh of Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Ind., who wrote:

"I think this a worthy effort. We are too careless in this country in preserving our ancient landmarks."

This movement is being led by Nunzio Vayana, Secretary of Connecticut Artists. It has point now aside from the danger of the destruction of the charming Twain home, for Nov. 30 will be the eighty-fifth anniversary of the birth of Twain, and this year is also the tenth anniversary of his death. And, perhaps, Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court" would be a sufficient reason for the preservation of the Hartford house. The best reason of all, though, is Mark Twain's lasting power to win our first and second year high school pupils, especially those of foreign or limited background, to an enjoyment of books and even libraries. For these reasons this project seems an admirable plan to cultivate our appreciation and reverence and as one means for keeping fresh the memory of Mark Twain, who still helps to keep the world young.

As a practical way of realizing such a project would it not be feasible fro the Society of Connecticut Artists to ask United States Commissioner Claxton to request the co-operation of all the State Commissioners of Education in setting a Mark Twain Memorial Week with a program of appropriate topics, leading to a penny-or-more drive in each school, the funds from which to be the gift of the children of the United States for the future school children?

New York, March 29, 1920

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