“No other town, burying its great man, ever buried more of itself than Philadelphia with Franklin.”
—Carl Van Doren, 1938
The United States has buried many a great leader throughout its storied history. The funerals of Presidents Washington, Lincoln (150 years ago this month), Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan immediately come to mind.
Among American leaders who never occupied the presidency, the burial of the slain Martin Luther King Jr. 47 years ago, also this April, was another moment of immense national sadness.
And in Philadelphia, precisely 225 years ago on April 21st, the city’s most internationally renowned citizen, Dr. Benjamin Franklin, was laid to rest at Christ Church Cemetery in the presence of 20,000 mourners who had gathered at the State House (now Independence Hall) to pay final respects to their friend and neighbor — without whose unsurpassed contributions to the American Revolution the United States might have never been born. Read more »