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Philadelphia Photos Part 2

Me and the Liberty Bell

Christ Church Burial Grounds.  Costs $2 per person to go inside and visit the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin (more on that later), four signers of the Declaration of Independence, the father of American Psychiatry (Dr. Benjamin Rush) and the founder of the US Navy. 

The grave of Benjamin Franklin and his wife Deborah.  It's Philadelphia tradition to throw pennies on his grave, based on his famous quip, "A penny saved is a penny earned."  It's supposed to be good luck to leave a penny for old Ben.  Supposedly, it's especially lucky for brides to do so on their wedding day.  It makes me wish we'd been there on a Saturday to see the limos pull up, a bride in her gown run out, toss a penny and dash back into the car.  Some women have reported being hit with pennies while standing on the corner of 5th and Arch, waiting for a bus.  Old Ben was quite the womanizer, perhaps it's his way of getting their attention.

Franklin was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and is the most celebrated Philadelphian in the history of the city.  His funeral in 1790 was attended by over 20,000 people from all walks of life, from celebrated Revolutionaries to the clergy, printers, members of the American Philosophical Society (which he founded, in Philadelphia) and members of the College of Physicians.

America mourned his death.   James Madison moved that the House of Representatives, then sitting in New York, wear mourning for a month.

France mourned.  Count Mirabeau suggested that the French National Assembly should wear mourning as well. His suggestion also provides a fitting eulogy.

Would it not become us, gentlemen, to join in this religious act, to bear a part in this homage, rendered, in the face of the world, both to the rights of man and to the philosopher who has most contributed to extend their sway over the whole earth? Antiquity would have raised altars to this mighty genius, who, to the advantage of mankind, compassing in his mind the heavens and the earth, was able to restrain alike thunderbolts and tyrants. Europe, enlightened and free, owes at lest a token of remembrance and regret to one of the greatest men who have ever been engaged in the service of philosophy and liberty. I propose that it be decreed that the National Assembly, during three days shall wear mourning for Benjamin Franklin.
Franklin wrote his own epitaph as a young man, sort of as a joke.  It's printed in brass on a plaque that hangs on the brick wall above his grave.

There are a dozen half circle benches in the historic district.  Each has a storyteller who will explain the site's significance and offer a small craft for kids.  In the Signer's Park behind Independence Hall, we found a bench and some colonial gentlemen who were recruiting  people for the PA militia to go off and fight the war.