Tag Archives: K.P. Sanders

Did You Know?

By K.P. Sander

 

January 17 will mark the birth date of a man who some say was “the very first American.”  Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1706.  He was one of ten children born to Josiah Franklin – an English-born businessman – and his second wife, Abiah Folger.

According to Wikipedia, Franklin was a “leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman and diplomat.”  He was quite the Renaissance man, and certainly one of the most influential and gifted men of his time.

While this Champion of American Independence’s accomplishments are too numerous to list, Franklin is most widely known as being one of five men to draft the Constitution of the United States.  He is famously quoted as saying to John Hancock at the signing of the document, “Yes, we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Most of us can remember our elementary schooling lessons about Franklin with a key on a kite string in a lightning storm, but in fact, he conducted many electrical experiments.  He was the first to label electricity under different pressures as positive and negative. He also used a kite to collect some electric charge from a storm cloud, which led to the understanding that lightning was electrical. His experiments led to the invention of the lightning rod, helping to prevent buildings from lightning strikes.  In 1753, Franklin received the Royal Society’s (a scientific advisor to the British government) Copley Medal in recognition of his work with electricity.  He was later elected as a Fellow of the Society – one of very few invited.

In his lifetime, Franklin held many positions, including:  6th President of Pennsylvania; United States Minister to France; United States Minister to Sweden; 1st United States Postmaster General; Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly; and Member of the Pennsylvania Assembly.

Franklin died at the age of 84 on April 17, 1790 at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It is said that approximately 20,000 people attended his funeral.  Franklin left behind two children, William Franklin, and Sarah Franklin Bache (his first son with common-law wife Deborah Reed – Francis Folger Franklin – died in 1734 of smallpox at the age of 4).  Deborah Reed Franklin died of a stroke in 1774 while Franklin was away in England.

Interestingly enough, Franklin – always clever – bequeathed £1,000 (around $4,400 at the time) to his beloved cities, Boston and Philadelphia.  The money was to be held in trust gathering interest for 200 years.  By 1990, Philadelphia had accumulated more than $2 million – some was used between 1940 and 1990 for mortgage loans – which was ultimately spent on scholarships for local high school students.  The Boston trust fund had amassed almost $5 million, which funded the Franklin Institute of Boston (a trade school).

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin.  Thank you for a lifetime of contributions for our betterment.

 

Did You Know?

BY K.P.SANDER

(Photo Courtesy: Google Image)

(Photo Courtesy: Google Image)

 

August 26 will mark 94 years since the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, granting American women the right to vote.

It almost seems silly now that it was even an issue to discuss, but 100 plus years ago women had very few rights. Our history tells us that women began organizing and petitioning to gain the right to vote in the 1880s, but it took decades for their purpose to be realized. Suffragists worked tirelessly against the odds, marching, lobbying, and even participating in civil disobedience – often against radical opposition – to change the Constitution.

At the time, the New York Times reported, “The half-century struggle for woman suffrage in the United States reached its climax at 8 o’clock this morning, when Bainbridge Colby, as secretary of state, issued his proclamation announcing that the 19th Amendment had become a part of the Constitution of the United States.”

The monumental change was a significant cause for celebration, but it had been a long time coming. At the beginning of the 20th Century, the society of American women began to see drastic transformations. They were becoming more educated and working more as a result of that, they were bearing fewer children, and starting organizations for the things they felt strongly about.

With World War I, barriers began to break down when women aided the war effort in a variety of ways starting in 1917. By 1918, women had acquired equal suffrage with men in 15 states, and Republican and Democratic parties began to endorse female enfranchisement.

From that point it was just a matter of time until the 19th Amendment became the law of the land, forever changing the face of American culture. On Nov. 2, 1920, more than eight million women across the United States voted in elections for the very first time.

 

Eastvale: Vacation Bible School

BY K.P. SANDER

 

About a hundred years or so ago, back when I was in elementary school, I had what I now realize was the privilege of attending Vacation Bible School, or VBS as it were. In those days they used to pull a trailer up in the front of the school; almost a little chapel on wheels. For a couple of weeks each year I was excused from class by way of a permission slip from my mother, and I spent an hour or so each day learning about Jesus.

I used to love being dismissed from my studies (yeah, I didn’t fall in love with school until college). There was something very special about walking up the steps of that trailer and sitting in one of the little pews. I can tell you as a certainty that I don’t remember a single moment of the studies that I missed during class time, but I profoundly recall the stories and teachings that I learned at VBS. In fact, I would be so bold as to say that the learnings that happened so many years ago have had a direct correlation to the strong level of faith that I have today.

I still look forward to seeing what VBS has in store locally, and appreciate that Eastvale churches offer several programs each year. Some offer paid curriculums, and some are free (and even include a daily dinner – a true definition of a happy meal). I am grateful that my family is still involved in VBS and that two little boys in particular look forward to it, just as I did.

This summer, when you hear that charming phase that always seems to accompany children too long ‘round the house, “Mom, I’m bored!” remember that there might be a local VBS program just around the corner that could not only occupy their time, but perhaps teach some positive, life-long lessons.

Happy VBS-ing!