I almost missed the chance to wish Benjamin Franklin happy birthday. 300 years young.
I had no idea how important the guy was, or how influential and famous he was in his own day, until I recently read several books about the revolutionary generation (Founding Brothers, etc.). Or, I should say, I knew he was very important, of course — but he turned out to be a much bigger deal than I realized. He was one of the most famous men in Europe in his time, and was almost solely responsible for lending intellectual and cultural credibility to the new US.
When I pass his grave in Philadelphia, I always smile. There he is, the great man, lying right there. What’s cool is that people toss pennies onto his grave (homage to “a penny saved is a penny earned”) and it’s right across the road from the US Mint, where they make pennies.
Ben… I would tell you to rest well. But we need your ghost kicking some people in the pants right now. So get to it.