A Day to Celebrate!

Published: March 29, 2011

From library assistant Lauren Zuchowski

Bon Anniversaire, William Andrews Clark Jr.!

Today the Clark Library is celebrating the 134th birthday of its founder, William Andrews Clark Jr.  Because he spent his childhood years in France, we have decided to re-imagine what one of young Clark’s birthday parties might have been like.

In France, our birthday boy would have been expected to treat his guests to champagne and treats, rather than guests pampering him like a traditional American birthday party.  Gifts and cards are a nice gesture but are never expected at a French birthday party.  One thing would have been the same for Clark Jr.: the “Happy Birthday” tune we are familiar with is also sung at French birthday parties as well!

Joyeux Anniversaire
Joyeux Anniversaire
Joyeux Anniversaire… William Andrews Clark Jr.!
Joyeux Anniversaire

A very young Mr. Clark


Interestingly, the French also celebrate Name Day (called fête in France) in which you celebrate the day of the year associated with one’s given name and originating from the calendar of saints.  Gifts are usually exchanged on your fête and it is still celebrated all over Europe today.  William’s name day would correspond with Guillaume and would be celebrated on January 10.

We hope you will celebrate with us in spirit, and give a toast to our Guillaume today!

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