Today in American History: June 10, 1752

Today in American History: June 10, 1752


On this day in 1752, Benjamin Franklin conducted his famous kite experiment. It was summer and Ben Franklin flew a kite during a thunderstorm to collect whatever electric charge he could in a Leyden har. This allowed him to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity. Historians agree that it's one of his most famous and mythologized experiments.

He first became interested in electricity in the mid-1740s. During that time, there was still very little that was understood about electricity. He spent almost an entire decade conducing experiments with electricity. Interestingly enough, he also coined many of terms we use today including battery, conductor, and electrician. Because of his work with electricity, he invented the lightning rod which is used to protect buildings and ships.

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston. His father, Josiah Franklin, was a candle and soap maker who fathered 17 children. His mother was Abiah Folger.

He was a very educated man, but his formal education ended at age 10. He then went to work as an apprentice for his brother James who was a printer. After a dispute with his brother, he ended up moving to Philadelphia in 1723 and finding work as a printer. He later moved to London for a short period of time for work, but then returned to Philadelphia. There he became a successful businessman and publisher. His most famous ventures include the Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard's Almanack. He advocated for hard work and honesty to get ahead in life. Benjamin Franklin published the almanac in 1773 under the name Richard Saunders. One of the famous quotes from the almanac was "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."

He wasn't only a successful businessman and scientist, he is also remembered for various civic contributions as well. He developed a library, insurance company, city hospital and an academy in Philadelphia. That academy would later become the University of Pennsylvania. 

Above all else though, Benjamin Franklin's most significant role was that of one of the founding father's of the United States of America. He served as a diplomat in foreign countries as well as a legislator in Pennsylvania. 

He's actually the only politician that signed all four documents fundamental to the creation of the United States. Those being: the Declaration of Independence in 1776, The treaty of Alliance with France in 1778, the Treaty of Paris in 1783, and the United States Constitution in 1787. He died at the age of 84 on April 17, 1790.

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