Frog-Jumping Contest Participant Photo: Bob Greeniee
National Tom Sawyer Days
This celebration originated in 1956 in
Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain's boyhood hometown, with a Tom
Sawyer fence-painting contest, sponsored by the Hannibal Jaycees,
and a "Tom and Becky" contest, sponsored by the Hannibal Chamber of
Commerce. In 1959, the event was moved to the Fourth of July.
According to the chartering resolution, "the celebration is
dedicated to the recognition of that most lovable, yet
unpredictable phenomenon of our American society, the small boy and
his fascination for the big river as immortalized by Mark
Events include fence-painting and frog-jumping
contests, and the selection of a new Tom and Becky to reign over
the festival and represent the town at other events. A parade
features contest entrants, floats, and bands. Designed and executed
by the Hannibal Jaycees, a spectacular fireworks display draws
visitors from a 100-mile radius. The festival is in its 44th year.
Project materials include photos, slides and a report.
Originally submitted by: Kenny C. Hulshof, Representative (9th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.