Guides and Materials About Mr. Franklin
An Introduction
Ben Across the Curriculum
Essay Contest
Essay Contest
January 9, 2006
Philadelphia, PA
Contact: Sharon Murphy, Alta Communications, 215-790-7867,

With only one week remaining until Benjamin Franklin turns the big 3-0-0, revelers around the world are putting the final touches on birthday plans. From Alaska to Maine and the Netherlands to Hong Kong, Franklin’s birthday will be a global celebration of which even a world traveler such as Franklin would be proud.

Looking for a party near you? Check out for a complete list of birthday celebrations or read on for highlights from around the world.

300 Years and Still Current: America Celebrates Franklin’s 300th Birthday (Philadelphia): Today’s “Franklins” -- scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, firefighters, postal workers and civic leaders -- will gather for Franklin’s official birthday celebration on January 17 at 10 a.m. at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

The party will feature a giant birthday cake topped with candles that will be ''lit'' by 300 individuals who embody facets of Franklin in the 21st century. This once-in-a-lifetime national event will celebrate the Franklin inside everyone: a curious spirit, open mind and positively charged influence on the world. The party is free, but advanced tickets are required, and can be reserved by calling 215-409-6700.

Poor Richard’s Ale: Franklin is credited with once saying “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Raise a pint to Franklin at one of hundreds of restaurants and bars across the country serving Poor Richard’s Ale, the official beer of Franklin’s 300th birthday. The recipe for Poor Richard’s Ale was created by entrepreneur, Tony Simmons, and will be served in 35 states on January 17. To locate a restaurant or bar near you serving Poor Richard’s Ale, please visit

Benjamin Franklin House, Craven Street, Opening (UK): Located at 36 Craven Street in the heart of London, just steps from Trafalgar Square is Benjamin Franklin House, is the world's only remaining home of Benjamin Franklin. For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775 Dr. Franklin lived behind its doors, which will open to the public for the first time on January 17, 2006, as a dynamic museum and educational facility. For more information, please visit

Franklin, USA: Can’t make it to Philadelphia? Towns and cities across the country are planning parties for Franklin, including cake, candles and of course a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday!” For more information on parties taking place in the following cities and towns, please visit
  • Rimersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Glasgow, Montana
  • Bath, New York
  • Ozark, Alabama
  • Franklin, New York
  • Manson, Iowa
  • Lewes, Delaware
  • Kingwood, West Virginia
  • Berwyn, Pennsylvania
  • West Islip, New York
  • Uidalia, Georgia
  • Warren, Vermont
  • Barnstable, Massachusetts
  • Winamac, Indiana
  • Fox River Grove, Illinois
  • Telford, Pennsylvania
  • Gravette, Arkansas
  • Holbrook, Massachusetts
  • Shaker Heights, Ohio
Penn Global Alumni Network: Franklin founded the Academy and College of Philadelphia 1749, later renamed the University of Pennsylvania, and to celebrate, PENN alumni around the world are gathering to “raise a toast to dear old Ben.”
  • Hong Kong: Penn alumni will attend a dinner and show featuring a specially commissioned one-man play highlighting Franklin’s life and achievements on Saturday, January 21.
  • Milan, Italy: Penn alumni will gather on Tuesday, January 17, to toast Franklin’s birthday.
  • Birthday bashes are also planned in: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and more!
For a complete list of Penn “Ben” parties, visit:

The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, a non-profit organization supported by a lead grant of $4 million from The Pew Charitable Trusts, was established to mark the 300-year anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s birth (1706-2006) with a celebration dedicated to educating the public about his enduring legacy and inspiring renewed appreciation of the values he embodied. The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary was founded in 2000 by a consortium of five Philadelphia cultural institutions: the American Philosophical Society, The Franklin Institute, The Library Company of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, an Act of Congress in 2002 created the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission, a panel of fifteen outstanding Americans chosen to study and recommend programs to celebrate Franklin's 300th birthday. The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary can be found online at