Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Happy 300th, Ben!
Today is Ben Franklin's 300th birthday! Happy Birthday, my old buddy. Here's a pint to you.

And what a 300 years it's been. Arguably, no man has ever impacted the world more than Dr. Franklin. If you are looking for a hero, no matter your profession, Ben should be one. It was Ben who found the solution (von Steuben) to General Washington's vexing military problems, when the Revolution was near failing, his troops loosing and ready to leave. Ben the negotiator who secured France' help when we were too broke to continue the battle. Ben the statesman across decades - from the Albany Plan of Union to the Declaration to the compromises that allowed the Constituition.

Ben alone signed all three of the documents that created our country. He was a pre-eminent scientist of his time. He was a teacher to many; a plain city tradesman; sponsor of fire brigades, libraries, postal works, and street paving. A friend to highborn and low; a musician; magician; a ladies man.

The celebration continues at benfranklin300.org and coming soon to a city near you. If you're near the east coast, you can travel the Benjamin Franklin Treasure Trail. Either way, you can try the quiz. Your quide can be the Interactive Exhibition. Or the great Franklin interactives at PBS.

So lift a glass to Ben tonight.

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