176. Benjamin Franklin (Listen and Read)
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Benjamin Franklin was one of the most famous people in American history.
He was never a President of the United States,
but he made great achievements in many areas of life,
including business, literature, science, and politics.
Benjamin Franklin was born in the city of Boston, during the year 1706.
In his early years, Franklin was very poor.
As a young man, he worked for his older brother, who was a printer.
However, the two brothers soon argued with each other.
Benjamin decided to leave, and he moved to the city of Philadelphia.
He worked very hard and soon became a successful printer.
He published his own newspapers,
and he also published books called almanacs,
which contained many wise sayings.
Many of the wise sayings in Franklin's almanacs are still repeated today.
Franklin's printing business was very successful,
but he was also very interested in science.
He performed experiments on the topic of electricity.
Some of these experiments were very dangerous.
In one experiment, Franklin was almost killed
when he went outside during a lightning storm
and flew a kite that had a metal key attached.
However, Franklin was lucky enough to avoid injury,
and he learned new facts about electricity.
In addition to scientific research, Franklin was also an inventor.
He invented a new kind of eye-glasses called "bifocals".
Bifocals are eye-glasses that allow people to see things that are far away,
but also allow them to read things that are very close.
Another invention was a new kind of stove for burning wood.
This new stove was much more efficient than the older stoves had been.
He also invented a lightning rod, which keeps houses safe from lightning.
Franklin was also interested in making his city a better place to live.
He started a public library, and he helped to organize a hospital and a fire department.
In addition, he supervised the postal service,
which operated profitably under his command.
In his later years, Franklin became heavily involved in politics.
For most of Franklin's life, the United States was not yet a country.
Instead, the united states were still colonies of England,
but Franklin encouraged other Americans to become an independent country.
When the United States became a country,
Franklin became the American ambassador to France.
The French people liked Franklin very much.
Franklin later returned to the United States, and he died in 1790.
Today, many Americans still admire the brilliant achievements of Benjamin Franklin,
who did so much to improve people's lives.
The picture of Benjamin Franklin can be seen on the American hundred-dollar bill.
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