If Benjamin Franklin had had his way, the wild turkey would be the national bird and a lot of people would be eating a symbol of the country tomorrow. Many people know this, but many people do not know that Franklin was also an advocate of calling the new nation "Columbia"; rather than the United States of America." Or maybe it would have been "Kolumbia," since he considered the letters c, j, q, w, x, and y "redundant." (I like them just fine, myself.)
Old Ben held an honorary law degree from Oxford University despite having had no legal education whatsoever, and wrote editorials in his own brother's newspaper under the pseudonym "Mrs. Silence Dogood" (much to his brother's irritation when he found out about it).
While serving as ambassador to France, Franklin was a great advocate of nudity and would frequently remove all of his clothes immediately upon retiring to his bedchamber and not put them on again until summoned to the King's court, much to the irritation of his somewhat more uptight roommate, John Adams. Most mornings, he would also take nude strolls in the garden of the Paris house the two Founders had rented with the Continental Congress' money to support their diplomatic mission to encourage France to support the Revolution. He considered this practice to be a part of a gentleman's good hygiene, and referred to his a natural activity as "air baths."
He left £1,000 to gather interest for 200 years to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia; the trusts matured in 1985 and were used to establish trade schools and provide seed money to help financially-disadvantaged local residents buy houses. Benjamin Franklin: a strange fellow, perhaps, but definitely one of history's good guys.
Not A Potted Plant Has A New Home
Readers! Not A Potted Plant is moving. Please switch your RSS feeders like Google Reader, and update your bookmarks, to draw from the blog's new site, generously hosted by the League of Ordinary Gentlemen. Thank you for your continued support.