Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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January 10th
Proverbs from Poor Richard’s Almanack
Many American co lonists started each year by opening the latest edition of their favorite almanac. The most famous was Poor Richard’s Almanack, published by Benjamin Franklin from 1733 to 1758, while he was a printer in Philadelphia. Readers appreciated the almanac’s weather predictions, astronomical data, and agricultural information. But they especially loved its humor, verses, and practical advice, all dispensed by the pen of “Poor” Richard Saunders, a fictional astrologer whom Franklin invented to be the editor of his publication.

Some of Poor Richard’s proverbs – such as “A penny saved is a penny earned” and “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” – are still quoted today. Many of the aphorisms came from earlier writers, ranging from Greek to English, but were often “Americanized” for Franklin’s readers. A few more proverbs from Poor Richard:

– With the old Almanack and the old year Leave thy old vices, tho’ever so dear.

– He that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night.

– Well done is better than well said.

– People who are wrapped up in themselves make small packages.

– Little strokes fell great oaks.

– If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles.

– One today is worth two tomorrows.

– He that by the plow would thrive, Himself must either hold or drive.

– Laziness travels so slowly that Poverty soon overtakes him.
American History Parade
1753
Poor Richard predicts “wind and falling weather, then very cold” for the second week of January.

1861
Florida secedes from the Union.

1901
A drilling derrick near Beaumont, Texas, strikes oil, creating a huge gusher and signaling the beginning of American oil history.

1946
A radar beam from a U.S. Army laboratory at Belmar, New Jersey, bounces off the moon and returns to Earth in 2.4 seconds.`
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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