Historical Figure Notes

Benjamin Franklin

  • 1706 Born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 17
  • 1718 Begins an apprenticeship in his brother James’ printing shop in Boston
  • 1723 Age 17, he leaves his family, running away to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1724 Moves to London, continuing his training as a printer
  • 1732 begins to annually publish, until 1758, Poor Richard: an almanack
  • 1737 Appointed postmaster of Philadelphia
  • 1747 First writings of electrical experimentation
  • 1751 His book “Experiments and Observations on Electricity” is published in london
  • 1752 Founds the first American fire insurance company
  • 1775 Elected to Continental Congress
  • 1776 Signs the Declaration of Independence
  • 1778 negotiates and signs Treaty of Alliance with France
  • 1782 negotiates, with John Adams and John Jay, the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain
  • 1783 While in Paris, watches the Montgolfier brothers become the first men to fly in a balloon
  • 1784 negotiates treaties with Prussia and other European
  • 1787 elected president of the Pennsylvania Society for promoting the abolition of slavery; serves as delegate to the Constitutional Convention
  • 1790 Dies in Philadelphia on April 17

Charles Darwin

The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree… As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever branching and beautiful ramifications.” ~ Charles Darwin, 1859

Charles Messier

The Messier objects are celestial 110 objects plotted by comet-hunter Charles Messier in the late 1700s. He wanted to catalogue the various “fuzzy” objects that he observed in the night sky to help avoid confusion with the comets he was trying to discover.


Democritus was one of the first people to have developed an idea about atoms.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Born in Texas and raised in Kansas, Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of America’s greatest military commanders and the thirty-fourth President of the United States. Inspired by the example of a friend who was going to the U.S. Naval Academy, Eisenhower won an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Although his mother had religious convictions that made her a pacifist, she did not try to stop Eisenhower from becoming a military officer.

William Herschel

William Herschel was an 18th century astronomer who began to catalog deep space objects.