Reports of Mark Twain’s quip about his death are greatly misquoted…

In May 1897, the great American humorist, novelist and social critic Samuel Clemens — best known by his pen name, Mark Twain — was in London. It was one of the stops on a round-the-world speaking tour he’d embarked on in 1895. He hoped to use the fees from speaking engagements to pay off the … Read more

How a political backlash turned “a grand old rag” into “a Grand Old Flag”…

On January 19, 1906, American composer, playwright and performer George M. Cohan copyrighted a new song he’d written titled “You’re a Grand Old Rag.” It was one of the songs Cohan created for his upcoming Broadway musical George Washington, Jr. The chorus of the song went like this:       “You’re a grand old rag,        … Read more