Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the most important Founders and early political figures and statesmen of the United States. Considered the earliest of the Founders, Franklin was noted for his curiosity, ingenuity and range of interests. His wit and wisdom is proverbial to this day. More than anyone he shaped the American Revolution despite never holding national elective office. As a leader of the Enlightenment he had the attention of scientists and intellectuals all across Europe. As agent in London before the Revolution, and Minister to France during, he more than anyone defined the new nation in the minds of Europe. His success in securing French military and financial aid was decisive for American victory over Britain. He invented the lightning rod; he invented the notion of colonial unity; he invented the idea of America; historians hail him as the "First American".
The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will mark Franklin's 300th Birthday in January 2006, with a wide array of exhibitions, and events citing Franklin's extraordinary accomplishments throughout his illustrious career.
Ben was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He became a newspaper editor, printer, and merchant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becoming very wealthy. He spent many years in England and published the famous Poor Richard's Almanack and Pennsylvania Gazette. He formed both the first public lending library and fire department in America as well as the Junto, a political discussion club.
When Franklin flew his famous kite
And drew the lightning's fire,
Coaxing from thunderclouds the bright
Sparks on his "pointed wire,"
I wonder if he visioned how
Would be the servant it is now
Ben Franklin could not "plug it in"
And get his coffee boiling;
Nor start the toaster with a grin,
Then go back to his toiling'
Good Madame Franklin did not use
The "current" for her cleaning;
Nor dreamed that "Monday Wash Day Blues"
Ben's "find" would rob of meaning.
Wherefore, as we turn on the light
Which sends the shadows fleeting
Or press a button when at night
We feel it's time for eating,
Let's honor early scientist Ben-
His kite amid the thunder-
Since, but for pioneering then,
Would there be an age of wonder?
~Clarence M. Lindsay
I like to hear what Franklin did
When he was just a boy-
Spent all his birthday pennies for
A little penny toy.
I like to know what great men, too,
When they were sound like me,
Sometimes made as bad mistakes
As mine turn out to be.
They learned a lot from their mistakes
And later on won fame.
Perhaps, if I try very hard,
I can do the same.
~Clara G. Cornell
An American statesman,
A patriot and diplomat
Sharing ideas freely
Using his imagination
To help others
Signed the Declaration of Independence
The Constitution of the United States
The Franklin Stove, bifocal eyeglasses, and the lightning rod,
"Early to bed, and early to rise,
makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
~Susan R. Stein
Learn how to do a Bio Poem.
Totally learn about Benjamin Franklin by grades:
Ben Franklin: A Man of Many Talents
by Alexander, Dana, Max & Samantha
2nd Grade - Pocantico Hills School
PBS Ben Franklin
Highlights of his life and work
CIA Kids: A Spy
Discovery: Ben's Timeline
Enchanted Learning: Inventor
Franklin Court: Kids Corner