Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - High (X) - The Ken Burns Collection (X) - American Culture (X) - U.S. History (X)

The Master of the Pause | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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Twain was a genius of the stage. He had a long drawl and used silence to his advantage. The pauses were the preludes to a cascade of humor.

Bud | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

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After getting stuck in the mud and running over a skunk, Horatio and his driver added a third member to the team in Caldwell, Idaho—a young bulldog named Bud.

Mt. Shasta | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

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Horatio drove through beautiful countryside in Northern California. It was a visceral experience with the open car. They headed away from the mountains and came to the town of Alturas, California.

New York | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

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They crossed the Hudson at Albany, New York to a cheering crowd and met up with reporters and Mrs. Horatio Jackson in Peekskill, NY. They drove into Manhattan at 4:30 in the morning on July 26th. The trip took 63 days, 23 hours, and 30 minutes. Horatio, Crocker, and Bud were the toast of town. The story took on epic proportions in the newspapers.

Archer, Wyoming | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

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On July 5, 1903, Horatio was stuck in Archer, Wyoming, waiting for parts and missing his wife on their 4th anniversary.

San Francisco | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

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On May 23, 1903, Horatio started out in San Francisco on the first American road trip. He writes his wife to thank her for letting him go. The most American thing we can do is get in a car and drive across the country.

Cleveland | Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive

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The Winton Company offered to give Jackson support for the rest of the trip but he refused. He continued his quest across the country with people turning out wherever he went. He arrived in Cleveland to the Winton Company's Headquarters.

Samuel Clemens Takes a Pen Name | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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On February 3, 1863, Sam Clemens signs himself "Mark Twain." It's a name that sticks with him for the rest of his life.

The Mississippi River | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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The Mississippi River was Twain's Harvard and Yale. It was a sacred place for him. Twain said that every character he came up with he met on the Mississippi.

American Speech | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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Twain made American speech something to be admired. At the time, the European was supposed to be the ideal. But Twain used American vernacular and turned it into literature.

Mark Twain Goes Abroad | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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Twain traveled abroad with the idea that America was the center of the universe, and not Europe.

Dark, Depressive Streak | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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Mark Twain's irrepressible humor is always colored by the knowledge that horrible things can happen in life. The dark element gave depth to his work.

The Anguish Underneath the Man | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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Arthur Miller discusses the character of Mark Twain. Under the boasting of Mark Twain was a great suffering. He was a symbol of an American dilemma: a great success, with anguish underneath.

Aren't We Funny Animals? | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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Hal Holbrook discusses how Twain's writing makes him feel, and the empathy of Twain's writing. It is the humor that Twain finds in mankind that makes his work so enjoyable.

Hartford House | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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Twain had a divided personality. Twain wanted to be rustic and a rebel, but he also wanted to be wealthy and successful. His house in Hartford, Connecticut was incredibly luxurious.

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