Next Friday: Benjamin Franklin’s Annual Birthday Celebration

Benjamin Franklin (played by Ralph Archbold), Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC
Benjamin Franklin (played by Ralph Archbold), Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC

Ah, Ben Franklin. Us Philadelphians sure do love the guy. We’ve got statues galore featuring his friendly, bespectacled face and there’s even an Institute and  Parkway named in his honor. So it’s no surprise that with his 304th birthday coming up (January 17th), the city is preparing to honor our famous citizen.

This year, the annual Ben Franklin Celebration addresses how Ben defined the American character, exploring his identity and our own over the course of American history.

Speakers include Dr. Barbara Savage (author of Your Spirits Walk Beside Us), Walter McDougall (Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Heavens & the Earth), and Sheldon Hackney (former president of the University of Pennsylvania). The event is free and open to the public.

The day includes a seminar at Franklin Hall, followed by a public procession and ceremony at Franklin’s grave in Christ Church’s Burial Ground. Mayor Nutter will be there as well, laying the ceremonial wreath on Franklin’s grave. The procession departs from the American Philosophical Society at 11am.

For those interested, there’s also a special luncheon after the ceremony. Tickets range from $65 to $100 a person. More information on the luncheon, as well as registration, is available here.

Seminar @ Franklin Hall
9:00 – 10:45am

Procession, Wreath Laying & Tributes
11:00 – 11:45am

Franklin Hall
427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Christ Church Burial Ground
5th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-1695


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