Saturday, January 14, 2006

Ben Franklin 1706 -1790, sense over sound

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706. Franklin, my current home town, is celebrating his 300th birthday with special events this month.
Incorporated on February 16, 1778, Franklin became the first town in the United States to name itself in honor of the great statesman, Benjamin Franklin. In 1786 Ambassador Franklin showed his appreciation of the tribute by sending the town a library of 116 volumes which formed the nucleus of "America's First Public Library". Commercially, the early years saw settlers involved in small scale farming and grazing, but the town's abundant water power ensured early industrial development. There were cotton mills, felt makers and boot and shoe manufacturers established in Franklin in the 18th and 19th century, but the dominant industry in the town was the making of straw bonnets, and Franklin became one of the centers of straw bonnet manufacturing.
The sotry behind the gift of books was that town's folk had asked Franklin for a bell (something like the Liberty Bell) and he relied that books were better to make "sense" rather than "sound".
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