Ben Franklin was born on this day in 1706.
He began his incredible journey as a newspaper apprentice. He quickly learned that he did not want to set the print for others to write, he wanted to write himself. Which he did much to the anger of his brother, the newspaper’s editor.
Because he did not get along with his brother, Franklin became a newspaper printer, shop owner, and bookstore owner in Philadelphia.
While running the Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin not only printed the paper, he also wrote articles under an assumed name and created political cartoons. He also published Poor Richard’s Almanack. Almanacs, printed only once a year, include weather reports, recipes, famous phrases, and predictions.
Ben Franklin was so much more than a writer. He helped pave, clean and light Philadelphia’s streets. He started the nation’s first subscription library. He helped launch the American Philosophical Society and the Pennsylvania Hospital, both are still in existence today.
He also organized Philadelphia’s first fire-fighting company and the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance Against Loss by Fire for those who lost their homes to fire.
What is a glass armonica? Watch the video to find out!
Ben Franklin was probably best known as a politician. He was elected to the Second Continental Congress and helped write the Declaration of Independence. Franklin signed the Declaration and became the United States ambassador to France. Later he became President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, he served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and signed the Constitution. Before he died he wrote an anti-slavery paper urging Americans to rid themselves of slavery.
Franklin died on April 17, 1790, at the age of 84.
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School House Rock holds a special place in my heart, probably because I grew up with the educational clips in between my regular cartoon schedule as a kid growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. Nothing screams Saturday morning to me more than eating cereal and watching School House Rock.
Every time I show this one to my class, almost the entire class is singing along by the end of the song.
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Think everyone spends Christmas morning opening presents? Think again. For the last 65 years, a group of re-enactors makes an annual crossing across the Delaware River at Washington Crossing in Pennsylvania on Christmas just as Washington did in 1776.
During the American Revolution, General George Washington crossed the Delaware with 2,400 troops in the middle of the night. He wanted to surprise a force celebrating Christmas in Trenton, New Jersey. At night, on an icy and freezing river, Washington and his troops crossed the river to the surprise of the unprepared soldiers. General Washington captured 1,000 Hessian troops. Washington, unfortunately, was unable to keep Trenton but news of the battle raised the hopes of American colonists.
Want to learn more about the re-enactors? Go to their website by clicking here.