The Mustache: Future of the South?


George Alfred Townsend, Samuel L. Clemens, and David Gray, ca. 1860–ca. 1865 (111-B-2167; ARC 526362)

When you think of Samuel Clemens, do you think of the celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County? His house in Conneticut? A yankee in King Arthur’s court? Or do you think of his full, bushy mustache?

As a child growing up in New England, I felt more familiar with the world of Lousia May Alcott than Samuel Clemens. For me, the world of Huck Finn, rafts, and paddleboats on the Mississippi was a strange and mysterious one, just as the South felt like a distant place, which I imagined was full of alligators and droopy moss and mysterious iced drinks.

Of course, the South is much more than Mark Twain or any clichés. The National Archives holds many records from the region’s past.

But after Hurricane Katrina and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, what’s in store for the South? Come hear speakers discuss the future of the region on October 5 at a day-long conference (no registration required!). Panels will tackle the relationship between culture and the land, the ecology of the gulf coast, and the future of Southern culture and identity.

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