Benjamin Franklin was born on Jan. 17 in 1706. He was a man of many talents. To say that he was a jack of all trades isn’t even close! Over the course of his lifetime he was a printer, politician, author, inventor, scientist, business man, musician and diplomat. He was the first Postmaster General of the United States and founder of the first subscription library – a predecessor to the public library we know today.
He was the inventor of the lightning rod, and many terms that we use in relation to electricity were coined by him: battery, charge, conductor, electrify. He discovered the Gulf Stream which cut two weeks off sailings from Europe to North America. He was the inventor of the Franklin Stove, which afforded more heat with less fuel. Of course, most of us know that he was one of the drafter/signers of the Declaration of Independence and an ambassador to France. The list goes on!
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Want to learn more about this remarkable patriot? Take a look in our biography sections for kids and adults, or check out a favorite, the DVD “Benjamin Franklin” by Ken Burns! And know that even Franklin would be impressed by all there is to discover at Peninsula Community Library!
Upcoming at PCL…
Out of the Box. On 2/4 from 10-1, families can use their imagination to engineer cardboard into art projects to play with and share. All materials provided. Please RSVP by calling the library, (231) 223-7700.
Sew be my Valentine! Create three small drawstring bags to hold sweet treats or gift cards for your loves. 2/7 at 2 p.m. (RSVP by 2/3) Materials provided. Let us know if you need a sewing machine.
The Gift of Life. PCL partners with VERSITI for a blood drive on 2/22. All blood collected stays in Michigan. Register here.
Books at the Boathouse. This annual fundraising event for the library is IN PERSON this year on March 20th!!! Tickets go on sale at PCL February 1. Enjoy a fabulous meal with wine while supporting your community library. The live auction will be back, as well. Many thanks to Doug and Erin Kosch and their Boathouse crew. Tickets are $100 per person.
The Regulars. Gentle Yoga happens Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. for a small fee. Story Stew for preschoolers is offered the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 11 a.m. Reading Dogs Lani and Rosie join us Tuesdays from 3:30-5 pm to listen to your child read. Threads meets Mondays 10-noon – bring a project, work among friends! Pageturners meets the 3rd Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Books available on a first come basis. Practice Spanish at our Spanish Meetup, on the 3rd Saturday at 10:30 a.m. PHEW! We are almost as busy as Ben!
Peninsula Insights gathers the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. with speakers of interest to OMPers. All are welcome, but please let us know you are coming because a light supper is served and it helps us to plan.
Best Friends Forever! The Friends of Peninsula Community Library welcomes their new president, Marcia Decker. This 501(c)3 organization meets quarterly, raising funds and contributing more than $20,000 for library equipment and art supplies; subscriptions to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, New York Times and Wall Street Journal; Summer Reading Club; speakers and musicians; take-out craft bags for kids and adults; PCL’s new Library of Things and much more. New members are always welcome – learn more here.
Benjamin Franklin is recognizable to most people around the world, but there are surprising facts that you may not know about him! He created some unusual inventions, but was most proud of a musical instrument he called a glass armonica. It was designed to make the eerie sound of a wet finger running over the rim of a glass. Beethoven and Mozart, among others, composed music for it.
In an era when many people could not swim, Franklin was an avid swimmer. He even made wooden paddles to help propel himself with speed across the water! In 1968, the International Swimming Hall of Fame honored him with membership.
Perhaps most surprising was his gift upon his death to his birth city of Boston and his adopted city of Philadelphia. The gifts came with an unusual restriction. For the first 100 years, the funds were placed in trust and could only be used for loans to local tradesmen. For the next 100 years, most of the money was also to remain off limits, at the end of which the cities could use the money as they pleased. By 1990, Boston held funds worth $4.5 million and Philadelphia $2 million. Both cities have since used funds to help finance institutes of technology in Franklin’s name.
Speaking of gifts, I am so very grateful for the support of our community and friends near and far in our recent annual appeal. You make it possible for us to offer programs, crafts, materials for loan, and all the extras that make PCL a special place. You make a difference! Thank you!
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb