This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure << here >> for further information.
The Inspirations of Franklin and MLKJ
This January we celebrate two great men: Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King Jr. The contributions of both of these men have helped to shape America into the amazing country that it is, but they were both very, very different! I encourage everyone to get out there and learn more about them!
Fun Facts about Ben Franklin
1. He had only 2 years of formal education. Everything else he taught himself by spending what little money he earned on books, memorizing texts, then re-writing them in his own words.
2. He founded our first public libraries, volunteer fire department, and served as our first Postmaster General.
3. He retired at 42 after having arrived twenty years earlier practically penniless in Philadelphia. He spent the next 42 years as an inventor. And, while he was not a politician, he still served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention, and as a diplomat to Europe.
4. Benjamin Franklin spoke 5 languages all of which he taught himself.
5. While never a president, he is the only one of the Founding Fathers to have signed all four documents that formed the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the peace treaty with Great Britain, and the United States Constitution.
Fun Facts about Martin Luther King Jr.
1. Martin Luther King Jr. was too young to be in school when he first started and was expelled at the age of 5 for this. Ultimately, however, he was so brilliant that he skipped both the 9th and 12th grades. In addition, he was accepted to college at the age of 15!
2. Like Benjamin Franklin, newspapers played an important part in Dr. King’s life. He had a paper route from a very young age and became the assistant manager for The Atlantic Journal at the age of 13.
3. Both Benjamin Franklin and Dr. King would agree that books are the best way to educate yourself. Dr. King was known for his love of reading, especially the works of great philosophers. He was most heavily influenced by Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and the belief that individuals should not cooperate with evil systems.
4. This love of books understandable read to Dr. King publishing six books of his own, including an anthology of his most requested sermons and broadcasts, as well as an autobiography.
5. Dr. King is the only person besides George Washington to have his birthday made a federal holiday.
Both of these men had a profound impact and influence on the development of the United States and stand as wonderful examples of what people can accomplish despite adversity. Their lives were incredible journeys of self-discovery, wit, humor, and love.