Jack London Birthday Celebration
Jack London Square, Oakland. At the foot of Broadway on Oakland’s historic waterfront.
Saturday January 12th, 2008
12:00 PM History Walk and dedication of 2008 “Wolf Track” paving stones (begins at Heinolds First and Last Chance Saloon)
12:30 PM Cake cutting ceremony
1:00 PM Treasure hunt in Barnes and Noble with free prizes
1:30 PM Reading from Jack London’s works by Jack London
To celebrate the birth of one of Oakland’s most important citizens. To commemorate 2008, the 105th anniversary or the publishing of Call of the Wild and the 110th anniversary of the author’s return from the wild.
Jack London himself
Oakland, CA – This Saturday, Jack London Square will commemorate the birth of its namesake with a celebration that would make the old salt proud. The day will be marked with a series of events held in one of the author’s favorite haunts along Oakland’s historic waterfront.
The man himself will be in attendance to cut his cake and greet visitors. Mike Wilson will play the part of Jack London for the day. Wilson is an experienced Jack London impressionist and expert on the life of Oakland’s most famous literary citizen. He has even had a book published on the subject (Jack London’s Klondike Adventure, Wordsworth Publishing, 2000.) Wilson will revive the author’s spirit, dressing in period costume and answering visitors’ questions about London’s life and work.
The day will also see the dedication of 7 “Wolf Track” paving stones. The Square currently contains 275 Wolf Tracks which lead the way in a history walk around Jack London Square, highlighting events in the author’s life and some of the area’s historical features. Each Wolf Track bears a unique inscription, commemorating a special event or the life of a loved one.
Barnes and Noble will get in on the fun as it hosts a birthday cake reception and treasure hunt. Jack London-themed gifts will be hidden throughout the store and visitors will be invited to seek them out to claim their free prizes.
Jack London was raised in Oakland and spent the greater part of his life in the East Bay city. The area now known as Jack London Square was the site of some of the most pivotal events in his life. As a child, he spent his days reading library books on the wooden tables of the still-standing Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. It was the proprietor, John Heinold, who lent the 17 year-old London the money to attend UC Berkeley, a move which facilitated his literary career. Only a few years later, it was there on the Oakland waterfront that London boarded a ship to Alaska to join the Klondike Gold Rush. His experiences there informed some of his most important works, including Call of the Wild and White Fang.2008 marks the 110th anniversary of London’s return from the Klondike and the 105th anniversary of the publishing of Call of the Wild.