History lessons are a staple in our home. The lessons come from movies and videos, my husband enlightening us with lesser known history facts, and reading books about historical events and people. I’d like to think we’ve passed down our love of history to our kids.
One of the topics we’re diving into starting in the new year is US History. History, in general, allows us the freedom to navigate from any starting point in winding paths until we’ve reached our educational destination. That might be why I love history so much.
US History allows us to learn about the states, the Presidents, inventors, architects, the wild west, and other people who have helped shape this country either together or independently. The possibilities are endless! This is why I decided to dive into Fun Facts about Ben Franklin!
When studying about the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin is guaranteed to come up in any discussion. Of the founding fathers of this nation, he played an important role, although he is widely lesser known as a founding father. His work and his life helped shape this country from its most humble beginnings.
Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was Josiah Franklin who was a native of England. Josiah was a candle and soap maker. Ben’s father was married twice and had 17 children in his two marriages. Benjamin’s mother, Abiah Folger, was the second wife of Josiah and Ben was the 8th child of this marriage. Abiah Franklin was originally from Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Fun Facts About Benjamin Franklin
1) Franklin’s formal education was very limited. In fact, his formal education ended at the ripe old age of 10! However, his lack of a formal education didn’t hinder his learning. He was an avid reader and taught himself to become a very skilled writer.
2) Between the ages of 12 and 17, Ben worked in the newspaper publishing business as an apprentice to his brother James. James was not very happy to have his younger brother as an apprentice and didn’t treat him well. Although Ben wanted to write, James would not allow it. Unbeknownst to James, Ben took on a pseudonym and published 14 letters. People loved the letters and wanted more of them, but when James found out that Ben had written them, he was angry at his younger brother who was also his apprentice. In order to get away from James, Ben fled to New York and then to Philadelphia at the age of 17. In late 1724, he traveled to London, England, and again found employment in the printing business.
3) He was fascinated with electricity and performed many electrical experiments. Benjamin Franklin’s famous lightning experiment where he tied a key to a kite was done to prove that lightning was actually electricity. His experiments and study of electricity were integral to advancements in electrical theory.
4) Benjamin Franklin helped write the Declaration of Independence and the United States’ Constitution. As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Franklin helped write the Declaration of Independence and the United States’ Constitution. His ideas on equality and citizenship echo throughout early United States’ documents.
5) Benjamin Franklin negotiated the Treaty of Paris in 1783 to end the Revolutionary War. One of the things Ben Franklin is best known for is being a wonderful negotiator and ambassador. With the end of the Revolutionary War in sight, it was Ben who was sent to negotiate the deal and make peace for the United States. The people of France loved Ben Franklin and found him to be charming and witty.
6) Benjamin Franklin is the only founding father to have signed all four of the key documents establishing the United States of America as a nation. The four documents are the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France , the Treaty of Paris establishing peace with Great Britain, and the U.S. Constitution.
7) Many of Benjamin Franklin’s inventions are still used today. In addition to his electrical inventions, Franklin also invented bifocal glasses, the rocking chair, and the penny. He also invented a musical instrument called the harmonica which is made from spinning glass bowls. Did you know that Ben Franklin is also responsible for Daylights Savings time?
8) The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA was created in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Philadelphia was Franklin’s hometown and where most of his experiments and inventions were created. The Franklin Institute, a children’s science museum, was created to honor him and features a large statue of his likeness in the front entryway.
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Want to learn more about Ben? Amazon has a great selection of books!