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Franklin’s Legacy: American National Character
January 12, 2010, Volume 56, No. 17

Celebration! Benjamin Franklin, Founder is a collaborative organization of representatives of Franklin related organizations that each year plan a celebration of Franklin’s birthday with seminars, a procession to his grave and a luncheon. The intent, initiated by a few Penn alumni in 1998, was to bring national attention to Franklin’s ideas, ideals and accomplishments which remain relevant today. That initial idea has led to annual celebrations each built around a separate theme related to a different facet of Franklin’s interests. While Franklin’s involvement in a particular field is explored, the focus also is on contemporary research and development within that field. Each year, the Franklin Founder bowl is awarded to an individual who has made significant contributions to that field.

This year’s celebration on January 15, of Franklin’s birthday, which pays tribute to the legacy of Dr. Franklin, explores the concept of American character—how Americans see themselves and how they are perceived, and how this has evolved over the course of history.

A free seminar, at 9 a.m. on Forces Shaping American National Character precedes the annual Procession to Franklin’s Grave at 11 a.m.

Then, the Franklin Founders Award will be presented to Dr. Sheldon Hackney at the luncheon where he will deliver the keynote address. Dr. Hackney has studied the development of American character throughout his career. He has served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, president of the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently the Boies Professor of US History at Penn.

Info. and luncheon registration, www.ushistory.org/celebration/tickets.htm.


Related: Celebrating Ben Franklin’s 304th Birthday at a Founder’s Day Symposium: Forbidden Knowledge: Art, Science, and Censorship

Almanac - January 12, 2010, Volume 56, No. 17