Franklin is the only founding father to have signed all four of the key documents establishing the U.S.: the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris establishing peace with Great Britain (1783) and the U.S. Constitution (1787).
Most people know about Franklin, the statesman and philosopher. Here are some relevant Franklin quotes for today...
THE NEWS MEDIA
Apology for Printers
If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.ON COMPROMISE
Queries and Remarks Respecting Alterations in the Constitution of Pennsylvania
Has not the famous political Fable of the Snake, with two Heads and one Body, some useful Instruction contained in it? She was going to a Brook to drink, and in her Way was to pass thro’ a Hedge, a Twig of which opposed her direct Course; one Head chose to go on the right side of the Twig, the other on the left, so that time was spent in the Contest, and, before the Decision was completed, the poor Snake died with thirst.THE EMPIRE DIMINISHED
Rules By Which A Great Empire May Be Reduced To A Small One
[A] great Empire, like a great Cake, is most easily diminished at the Edges.HEALTH CARE
Referring to private hospital funding alone:
That won't work, it will never be enough, good health care costs a lot of money, remembering 'the distant parts of this province' in which 'assistance cannot be procured, but at an expense that neither [the sick-poor] nor their townships can afford.' … '[This] seems essential to the true spirit of Christianity, and should be extended to all in general, whether deserving or undeserving, as far as our power reaches.'LIBERTY
Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor
Printed in Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives, 1755-1756 (Philadelphia, 1756), pp. 19-21. [November 11, 1755]
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.WAR
Letter to Mary Hewson
All Wars are Follies, very expensive, and very mischievous ones. When will Mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their Differences by Arbitration? Were they to do it, even by the Cast of a Dye, it would be better than by Fighting and destroying each other.TRAITORS OR HEROES
Letter to Thomas Jefferson (March 16th, 1775).
In 200 years will people remember us as traitors or heroes? That is the question we must ask.
Franklin was one of the most well known and well-respected scientists and inventors of his day. We have him to thank for (among other things)...
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
VIDEO (30 minutes): Walter Isaacson: "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life"
NOTE: This is an edited version of an earlier post celebrating Franklin's birthday. I've added some quotes and information and corrected some links.