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October 1-7, 2023 is Banned Books Week. A 1907 article in the Library Journal reported that Mark Twain’s "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1885) had been banned somewhere every year since its publication.
Mark Twain used his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri as the backdrop for his two most notable works: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (which has often been referred to as the Great American Novel)
Author and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or as he is better known as Mark Twain tried a number of other career options before discovering his true vocation. He was an apprentice printer, a typesetter, a riverboat pilot, a gold miner, inventor, and finally a journalist. He was a Jack of all trades, who could never master his finances, though he always made sure his debts were eventually paid, but when it came to writing he certainly excelled. He became well known for his works, was acclaimed by his peers, and counted presidents and industrialists and other notables amongst his friends.
Performer: Bob Gleason has a degree in Theatre Arts from West Chester University. He has performed on stage, screen, television, radio, and in opera and ballet (Peter and the Wolf). While serving in the U.S. Army he toured Europe with the 7th Army Soldiers Chorus. Joining the American Historical Theatre as James Wilson in 1991, the Bicentennial for the Bill of Rights. Mr. Gleason had been portraying this Founding Father for the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge since 1985. Gleason terms his meeting with AHT’s William and Pamela Sommerfield as a turning point in his personal and professional life. In-depth historical research and audience interactivity have become hallmarks of Mr. Gleason’s historical portrayals. Since 1991, Bob Gleason has been AHT’s “go to guy” – If you need it, Bob can do it! Over the years, Mr. Gleason has been featured at the White House Visitor’s Center, Ford’s Theatre, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Constitution Hall, the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Mask and Wig, Elder Hostels, Bartram’s Garden, Betsy Ross’ House, the General Warren Inn, and the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge. Bob has been especially popular at schools, museums, historic sites and libraries throughout the United States.
Bob has presented programs featuring nearly one hundred and fifty historical figures, stretching over two thousand years of history. These programs have taken him from Washington D.C. to San Diego, California, and from El Paso, Texas to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (twenty-one states, so far). He has performed at the White House Visitors Center, The Smithsonian Institution, Constitution Hall, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Ford’s Theatre, Independence Hall, The National Constitution Center, The Union League of Philadelphia, Valley Forge National Park, Federal Hall in NYC, numerous historic sites, and a long list of schools, libraries and other venues public and private. He lives near Lansdale, PA with his wife of thirty-five years, and a large stock of costumes, props, and books.
At the conclusion of the program please feel free to take a brief online survey here:
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