December 28, 1732 — Benjamin Franklin began publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanack” today.
The publisher of Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Gazette adopted the pseudonym of “Poor Richard” or “Richard Saunders” for his annual publication, which became a bestseller through 1758. Print runs reached 10,000 per year.
The American inventor, statesman, and publisher used a mixture of seasonal weather forecasts, practical household hints, and puzzles. Franklin also published some of the witty phrases coined in the work survive in the contemporary American vernacular.
Four years earlier, in 1729, Franklin became the official printer of currency for the colony of Pennsylvania. By 1748, he was more interested in inventions and science than publishing. He then left for London representing Pennsylvania in its dispute with England, and later spent time in France. He returned to America in March 1775, with war on the horizon. He served on the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. Franlink died in Philadelphia in 1790.
Words of Wisdom for December 28, 2016
“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.”
― Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack