Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin!

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.

When he retired from the printing business, he started concentrating on science, experiments, and inventions. He invented the  Franklin stove, swim fins, the glass armonica, which is a musical instrument, and bifocals.
What is a glass armonica?  Click on 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.


What Did You Do For New Year’s Eve?

Me?  I went to the Oregon vs. Colorado basketball game at Matt Court. Matt Court is the basketball court at the University of Oregon.  Even though my family has had season basketball tickets for over 40 years, and I have attended basketball games at the old basketball arena Mac Court, this was the first time I had been to Matt Court.  In case you were wondering…  Oregon won!


Go Ducks!

What did you do on New Year’s Eve, comment below!

How Do You Spend Christmas?

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.

The 218th Anniversary of George Washington’s Death

On this day in 1799, George Washington, the first president of the United States dies from pneumonia.

At 10:00 p.m. on December 14, 1799, George Washington died at Mount Vernon, Virginia.   His last words were reported to be: “I feel myself going. I thank you for your attentions; but I pray you to take no more trouble about me. Let me go off quietly. I cannot last long.” Washington was only sixty-seven years old.

Washington had been so admired by his friends and enemies that even  Napoleon’s French armies and the British channel fleet paid respect to his memory after learning of his death.  America mourned for their father for two months.  Americans constantly expressed their sorrow in resolutions of Congress and of State legislatures, in mentions in town meetings, in the pages of newspapers and in hundreds of funeral processions and solemn eulogies in every corner of the nation.