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Racism claim kills bid to honor Mark Twain
First Published May 18 2014 10:58 pm • Last Updated May 18 2014 10:58 pm

Reno, Nev. • A state panel has effectively killed a bid to name a Lake Tahoe cove for Mark Twain, citing opposition from a tribe who claims he held racist views on American Indians.

The Nevada State Board on Geographic Names this week voted to indefinitely table the request after hearing opposition from the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, whose ancestral homeland includes Tahoe. Tribal representative Darrel Cruz says Twain is undeserving of the honor because he made derogatory comments about the Washoe and other tribes in his literature.

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James Hulse, University of Nevada, Reno, history professor emeritus, says it’s irrelevant whether Twain did so because his writings were insulting to everyone, including governors and legislators.

Twain assumed his pen name as a Nevada newspaper reporter in the 1860s and wrote adoringly of Tahoe.




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