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Ben Franklin Exhibition Makes Its International Debut in Philly. National Constitution Center To Host Exhibition Marking Benís 300th Birthday
October 21, 2004
Philadelphia, PA
Benjamin Franklinís walking stick, his signed copy of the Treaty of Paris, the odometer he invented and pages from his Poor Richardís Almanac are among the items collected for the international traveling exhibition, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World, on display at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia from December 15, 2005 through April 30, 2006. Gathered from institutions and private lenders (including many Franklin descendants) from around the world, this unprecedented collection is valued at over $150 million and includes all five of Americaís founding documents, all of which Franklin signed. The 8000 sq. ft. exhibition, which makes its international debut in Philadelphia, seamlessly pairs over 250 original Franklin artifacts with more than 40 interactive kiosks and hands-on displays and is intended to introduce the inspirational Franklin to a new generation, as well as paint a new picture for those who thought they knew Franklin well.

Franklin will be the first Founding Father to turn 300, and the federal Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission has made Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World the centerpiece of Benís official national birthday celebrations. The exhibition will form the focal point for a year of special events and programs in Philadelphia and its countryside, all honoring the cityís most famous historic citizen. Organizations throughout the region will participate with exhibits, lectures, debates, reading groups, live theater, workshops, concerts, parades and numerous other programs, all designed to bring Franklin alive for a diverse audience. Details of all the special events and programs will be available online at the Tercentenaryís web site,, along with information about restaurants joining in with Franklin specials, and Franklin-themed tours of the city. There will also be a wealth of resources for educators, including downloadable lesson plans at three grade levels.

Through a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation is acting as the Tercentenaryís marketing partner, and is putting together hotel packages and itineraries to help visitors join in the celebrations.

The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary is an alliance created in 2000 by five Philadelphia institutions: the American Philosophical Society, The Franklin Institute Science Museum, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the University of Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to celebrate the 300-year anniversary of Benjamin Franklinís birth (1706-2006), and its projects have been endorsed as the official national celebration by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission, a federal advisory body. For more information on the Tercentenaryís plans, visit

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), Philadelphiaís regional tourism marketing agency, is a private, non- profit organization dedicated to building the regionís economy and positive image through tourism and destination marketing. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, call the new Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676, or visit

Note to Editors: For story angles and photographic images of Philadelphia and its surrounding countryside, visit pressroom.