Fun Fact Friday: Benjamin Franklin

Did you know that Ben Franklin preferred for our national bird to be the turkey, rather than the bald eagle? It’s true!

In a letter to his daughter, he wrote:

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

Obviously, he had a sense of humor as well!

Here are some other fun facts about Ben Franklin:

  • Franklin invented the lightning rod, as well as bifocals.
  • He was the first United States Ambassador to France.
  • He was a newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia.
  • For many years he served as Postmaster to the colonies.
  • He wrote the first known “pro vs. con” list.
  • He penned feminist letters to the local paper under the pseudonym “Mrs. Silence Dogood”.
  • Franklin never patented any of his inventions, and wrote in his autobiography, “… as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.”

Want to learn more about Benjamin Franklin? Check out our Benjamin Franklin resources on Discovery Education Streaming!


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