June 15, 2005 |
Benjamin Franklin has a special meaning for the people of Philadelphia. Because he spent the first half of his adult life here, he has always been identified with the city. Philadelphia owes much to Franklin, for almost single-handedly he made it the most enlightened city in 18th-century North America. No civic project was too large or too small for his attention. He maintained the best newspaper and almanac in North America here. He organized a subscription-lending library, the Library Company.
September 23, 1989 |
City Council, after rejecting the school district's pleas for more tax dollars in May, has decided to take a more personal approach to improving education: Yesterday, amid fanfare, it "adopted" Benjamin Franklin High School. As part of the district's adopt-a-school program, in which businesses, organizations and individuals establish programs in schools and work with students, Franklin's student government will have access to Council. Students will work as Council interns and attend legislative sessions monthly.
October 27, 1987 |
Clearly, Ben Franklin was having a ball. There he sat at a table in what can only be described as a speakeasy, watching a couple of flappers dance the Charleston while a third whispered sweet somethings into his ear. When the music stopped (the number was "I Want to Be Loved by You"), Ben Franklin, eyes a-twinkle, thumped the stage with his cane and cried, "More!" Never satisfied. Things haven't changed a bit with Old Ben. This was Friday at the Mummers Museum, Second Street and Washington Avenue, where the company of a revue called Philadelphia Melody was going through a touch-up rehearsal for today's opening performance.
August 23, 1988 |
Ol' Ben's lost his head. "Yup, Ben Franklin is history," says Steve Meyer, building manager of the Forney Transportation Museum in downtown Denver. On Wednesday, bandits broke into the Forney's wax museum and ran off with the heads of Ben Franklin and the lesser-known William MacLeod Raine (writer of rip-roaring Westerns). Going West, young man, has its perils. The museum has posted a reward: $500 for information leading to the capture and conviction of the marauders, who also made off with a skull used in part of the "Colorado Maneater" exhibit.
October 31, 1990 |
History books describe Benjamin Franklin as a short, stout, balding and bespectacled man who discovered electricity. He also is known as the author of Poor Richard's Almanac, as a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and as the face on the $50 bill. Few would think of him as a magician. But George Hample, Ben Franklin impersonator, does. Hample, who described himself as fifty-something, has been impersonating Franklin for three years and practicing magic for 40. The full-time graphic artist spends his evenings, weekends and some vacation time portraying Franklin in about 20 shows a year.
December 6, 1987 |
The Philadelphia Public League basketball season will be marked this year by two major differences. One is the three-point shot, which takes effect this season after being successfully tried out in the Catholic League. The second is that Southern High is not considered a championship favorite. The Rams, who are coming off two straight Public League titles, lost their first eight players from last season, and that has left coach Mitch Schneider in a realistic frame of mind.
December 4, 1999 |
Ben Franklin boys' basketball coach Pete Merlino, 53, a well-liked and well-respected fixture in the Public League through the 1980s and '90s, died yesterday at Hahnemann University Hospital, two days after suffering a heart attack. "It's a terrible shock and a terrible blow to all of us," Ben Franklin principal John Chapman said. "He was greatly admired and loved by a lot of folks. We are going to miss him terribly. " Mr. Merlino was in his first year of coaching the Electrons after spending the previous 15 seasons at Franklin Learning Center.
May 15, 1998 |
With his high school coaches, his friends and his mother at his side, Alex Wesby announced his decision yesterday to continue his basketball career at Temple University. One of the city's top prospects, Wesby, the slender and fluid 6-foot-6 swingman who led Ben Franklin to its first Public League title since 1984, had attracted many offers and made visits to Siena, Massachusetts, Tulane and St. Bonaventure before signing with Temple. "I was up really late last night, probably midnight, before I decided," Wesby said at a news conference yesterday at Ben Franklin.
December 8, 1988 |
Last year at this time, the Crystal Ballroom of the old Benjamin Franklin Hotel was merely a memory. Developers had converted it to ordinary office space. But today, the ballroom is back, resurrected because of pressure from the National Park Service. The park service notified the hotel's developers that unless the ballroom, as well as the original bronze finish on the building's exterior, was restored to its previous appearance, the Ben Franklin rehabilitation effort would be declared ineligible for $11 million in federal tax credits.
October 4, 2000 |
Anyone who has scraped paint knows what a messy job it is, but imagine how tricky it is to contend with a suspension bridge with as many as 20 coats of the brittle stuff dating back to 1927, much of it laced with lead. The Delaware River Port Authority is learning how big a task lies ahead now that a contractor has completed stripping and repainting a 150-foot section of the 7,456-foot-long Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Consider one number: Workers removed 60 tons - 120,000 pounds - of lead paint from the 50-yard stretch on the Camden side of the river, said Paul Drayton, the bistate agency's chief executive officer.