Today is January 17. Everyone is preparing to enjoy a wonderful holiday on Monday in celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. And so they should! But in the process, we seem to have lost sight of another great American.
Today, January 17, in the year 1706, in the town of Boston, Massachusetts, a “tallow chandler” named Josiah Franklin, and his wife Abiah Folger gave birth to a baby boy they named Benjamin. Benjamin Franklin, that is. So happy birthday, Mr Franklin!
(Oh, for those who don't know, a “tallow chandler” is someone engaged in the occupation of manufacturing soap and candles)
Ben Franklin was, as most know, a multi talented individual and a very interesting man, quite aside from his role in the battle for American independence. He was an author and a printer. He was a political theorist and politician. He was an inventor and a scientist. He was our first Postmaster! Of course, when you live as long as he did you have the time to do a lot. Mr. Franklin was born in 1706, and did not pass away until 1790, at the great age for that time of 84 years.
Among his written work is the famous Poor Richard Almanack which he also published, along with the Pennsylvania Gazette. He is credited with inventing the Lightning Rod, the “Franklin” stove, a carriage odometer, as well as the glass “armonica” a musical instrument. Oh, he was a musician, too! And on top of all that he studied ocean currents and helped to chart the Gulf Stream!
And, as one of the Founding Fathers, he was part of the Continental Congress that gave birth to our nation, he represented our nation in several overseas nations, and he later served as Governor of Pennsylvania.
This short synopsis barely scrapes the surface of the accomplishments of this great man. We have not even mentioned electricity. Or Daylight Savings Time.
In short, Benjamin Franklin was was of the greatest and most interesting Americans who ever lived. And today is his birthday. So let's all raise a toast to this wonderful man. Happy Birthday, Mr. Franklin!
If you would like to know more about Benjamin Franklin, we have the perfect way for you to do so! We can arrange to have Ben visit your school! No, not the real Ben, of course! But a pretty fair approximation in the form of the wonderfully talented David Mitchell. David has a marvelous 45 minute assembly program for schools in which he impersonates Benjamin Franklin and brings this iconic figure to life for your students. Give us a call and see when he will be in your area!
Geoff Beauchamp is the Regional Manager of Mobile Ed Productions where "Education Through Entertainment" has been the guiding principal since 1979. Mobile Ed Productions produces and markets quality educational school assembly programs in the fields of science, history, writing, astronomy, natural science, mathematics, character issues and a variety of other curriculum based areas. In addition, Mr. Beauchamp is a professional actor with 30 years of experience in film, television and on stage. He created and still performs occasionally in Mobile Ed's THE LIVING LINCOLN