Benjamin Franklin was born today ....
January 17, 1706
.......but you'll hardly hear that anymore. It's as if somebody else was found to be more important these days, to celebrate their birthday.
As if the other person, that we do celebrate, is regarded now as the most extraordinary public servant in American history.
As if this other person is more multi-talented; a printer, publisher, author, scientist, and inventor.
As if this other person did more than start wonderful public services as a library and a fire department.
As if this other person went to France to seek aid for our American Revolution.
As if this other person did more than being instrumental in the adoption of our Constitution.
As if this other person is now considered more of a 'founding father' of our United States.
As if this other person was more of a polymath. (whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas)
As if this other person was more of a satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.
As if this other person was more of a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.
As if this the other person did more than invent the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, the glass 'armonica' and the rocking chair.
As if this other person was more of a foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical and democratic values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit and self-governing.
As if this other person was the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.
As if this other person had a more colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and status as one of America's most influential.
As if this other person is honored more 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.
But of all, all that Ben Franklin did for us; he didn't give us this day off.