Thursday’s Thoughts

Thursday’s Thoughts: Shaping History

Posted on: February 14, 2009

ben-postFrom our lovely Valorie of Morbid Romantic, we have this week’s Thursday’s Thoughts Question of the Week…

What event in history or historical person do you feel had the greatest influence on the modern world and why?

The rules of entry are just oh so easy:

  • Leave a comment below with your intriguing and thought provoking answer.
  • Post about it on your blog.  That’s the best choice… really… it is.  You can put lots of pretty pictures on your answer. Leave a comment with your link.
  • Be a superstar and put one of the two pieces of amazing artwork (hee hee) below on your post with your answer.  We love that!
  • Have your answer in my 7pm P.S.T. on Thursday, February 19th.
  • Spread the word. 

What do YOU GET for this amazingly trudgerous activity?


  • You get added to the fabulous, amazing, world-renown… Thursday’s Thoughts BLOGROLL
  • You are the annoited one to choose the Question of the Week for the next week’s Thursday’s Thoughts. 

How groovy is that?

Once a month, the Thursday’s Thoughts MEME will have a giveway (book or otherwise) to accompany the MEME.  The other three weeks are just for the love of the MEME and the fun thought-provoking questions to write about. 



Oh.. and for my entry… I’m going with good, ole’ Benji!  I mean electricity and libraries?  WOW!

Benjamin Franklin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


In office
October 18, 1785 – December 1, 1788
Preceded by John Dickinson
Succeeded by Thomas Mifflin

In office
1765 – 1765
Preceded by Isaac Norris
Succeeded by Isaac Norris

In office
1778 – 1785
Appointed by Congress of the Confederation
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Thomas Jefferson

In office
1782 – 1783
Appointed by Congress of the Confederation
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Jonathan Russell

In office
1775 – 1776
Appointed by Continental Congress
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Richard Bache

Born January 17, 1706(1706-01-17)
Boston, Massachusetts
Died April 17, 1790 (aged 84)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality United States
Political party None
Spouse Deborah Read
Children William Franklin
Francis Folger Franklin
Sarah Franklin Bache
Profession Scientist
Signature Benjamin Franklin's signature

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705]  – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass ‘armonica’. He formed both the first public lending library in America and first fire department in Pennsylvania. He was an early proponent of colonial unity and as a political writer and activist he supported the idea of an American nation[1] and as a diplomat during the American Revolution, he secured the French alliance that helped to make independence possible.

Franklin is credited as being foundational to the roots of American values and character, a marriage of the practical and democratic Puritan values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of Henry Steele Commager, “In Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat.”[2] To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin, “the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.”[3]

Franklin became a newspaper editor, printer, and merchant in Philadelphia, becoming very wealthy, writing and publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack and the Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin was interested in science and technology, and gained international renown for his famous experiments. He played a major role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania and Franklin & Marshall College and was elected the first president of the American Philosophical Society. Franklin became a national hero in America when he spearheaded the effort to have Parliament repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. From 1775 to 1776, Franklin was Postmaster General under the Continental Congress and from 1785 to 1788 was President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Toward the end of his life, he became one of the most prominent abolitionists.

Franklin’s colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and status as one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers, has seen Franklin honored on coinage and money; warships; the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, namesakes, and companies; and more than two centuries after his death, countless cultural references.









2 Responses to "Thursday’s Thoughts: Shaping History"

Here is my first entry in Thursday’s Thoughts!

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