Teen Think Tank: Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin!

Hi Everyone!

Did you know that Ben Franklin actually had two birthdays?! How is that even possible? Well, Franklin was born in Boston on January 6, 1706. But in 1752, Great Britain switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and skipped 11 days. So Franklin’s birthday became January 17. In 1773 he wrote to his wife, Deborah Franklin, “I feel still some Regard for this Sixth of January, as my old nominal Birth-day.”

Even though we don't know how Ben Franklin celebrated his birthday, we can mark the birth of this great statesman by learning more about him, his life and times! Check out the resources below to get started, then see where they take you.

How do you like to celebrate your birthday? Share your thoughts with me by emailing jplyouthservices@coj.net, subject line: Teen Think Tank.

Stay safe, have a great week!

#READ: Secrets of the Seven. The Eureka Key by Sarah Thomson

Secrets of the Seven Book Cover

Sam (a puzzle master) and Martina (a history whiz) become involved in a dangerous quest to find seven keys left behind by Benjamin Franklin and a secret society of descendants, which, when gathered together, unlock a powerful weapon, so the middle schoolers must solve the puzzles, find the artifacts before the bad guy does, and save the nation.


#LISTEN: Podcast. Ben Franklin's World

Ben Franklin's World Podcast Graphic - A Podcast About Early American History

A podcast for people who love history and want to know more about the early American past.

#EXPLORE: Watch Ben Franklin's Balloons, available on Kanopy!

PBS Ben Franklin's Balloons poster

The first stage in the adventure of human flight began with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th-century Paris, where a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today's hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador. To explore this burst of innovation, NOVA re-creates key flights, including the world's first manned voyage on November 21, 1783. A descendant of the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the hot-air balloon, will join a team to build an accurate replica of the fragile paper and canvas craft using 18th-century tools and materials. NOVA evokes the thrilling and daunting prospect that the balloon pioneers faced as they left Earth for the first time.

#JOIN: Creative Ink

Creative Ink - Explore Art, Find Your Style at Brentwood, Argyle, Southeast, and Beaches branches

Are you craving an outlet for your creativity? Connect with your inner artist and other teens with Creative Ink! Whether you’re a novice or the next big thing, this new, in-person teen art program is for you! You'll get inspired by books, famous artists or movements, experiment with new creative techniques, play games, and use a variety of materials to express yourself.

Sign up Now: Registration is required.

This program is for teens, ages 12-17. Materials and supplies are provided free of charge.



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Teen Think Tank: Programs & Events

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Find a wide range of in-branch and online programs to stay engaged while learning.