Showing posts with label Boston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boston. Show all posts

Apr 13, 2013

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was polymath, a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, and inventor. Next week is the anniversary of his death.
Born: January 17, 1706, Boston - Died: April 17, 1790, Philadelphia

In his will, the left 1,000 pounds each (about $4,400 at the time) to the cities of Philadelphia and Boston, but the cities were not given access to the money immediately. Franklin required that the money be held in trust for 100 years after his death. After that, the cities could remove a portion of the trust money to establish a trade school, but not all of the money could be withdrawn; some had to remain for another 100 years.

When the trusts became due in 1990, Philadelphia’s was worth $2 million. Philadelphia used the $2 million windfall to provide scholarships for area high school children. Boston’s trust, which withdrew less money during the trust’s second century, was worth $5 million. Boston used the $5 million to fund the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, which was established out of the trust’s funds which were withdrawn 100 years earlier.

Sep 3, 2011

Happy Pheidippides Day

Legend has it that, on this day in the year 490 B.C., a trained runner by the name of Pheidippides (or Phidippides or Philippides) of Athens, was dispatched to seek help against the invading Persian army. He ran for two days and two nights to the city of Sparta, about 125 miles away. Because of a religious festival, he could not get the needed help until after the next full moon, so he ran back without reinforcements.

Fortunately, they won the battle against the Persians at Marathon. After the battle and victory, Pheidippides ran 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to carry the news of the victory. His last words before he collapsed and died, were something like, "We have won."

In honor of Pheidippides, the 26-mile marathon became part of the Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896. Seventeen runners began, but only nine finished the race. Hamilton Ontario’s 30k Around the Bay Road Race is the oldest long-distance race in North America. It was first run in 1894 – two years before the first Olympics and three years before Boston.

At the Olympic games in London in 1908, King Edward VII asked to have the race begin near Queen Victoria’s statue at Windsor Castle. The revised distance of 26 miles to the stadium, plus a 385-yard lap of the track was established. This is the distance each race honors today.