Ben Franklin’s 315th Birthday
For the last several years, The Gazette has been celebrating the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, which falls on January 17 each year. This year is Franklin’s 315th birthday.
We celebrate Franklin because of his role as a newspaper publisher (The Pennsylvania Gazette) and as the creator and publisher of the hugely successful Poor Richard’s Almanack. Both these enterprises, begun in the early 1700s, were based in Philadelphia, approximately 35 miles from Hammonton. Of course, Hammonton was not incorporated until 1866, more than a century after Franklin’s successful exploits as a newspaper and almanac publisher and around 100 years after Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, both documents debated and created in Philadelphia. Franklin’s accomplishments in business, politics, science and civic life were unrivaled in his era.
As our special supplement in this week’s edition shows, Franklin has left an indelible stamp on Philadelphia, even more than 200 years later. The Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway are named in his honor, as is the Franklin Institute, which is home to the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial and its enormous statue of Franklin.
Later publications, such as The Saturday Evening Post, which were published in Philadelphia, laid claim to a connection to Franklin and The Pennsylvania Gazette because the magazine was first published in 1821 at the same printing shop where The Pennsylvania Gazette had been published in the 18th century.
Originally from Boston, Franklin moved to Philadelphia at an early age and his name is synonymous with the city. We hope you enjoy this year’s special supplement on Franklin, which includes a look at the landmarks along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, some statistics about Franklin and some of his most famous quotes. Happy Birthday, Ben!