Celebrating the 4th of July with Ben Franklin’s Wit & Wisdom


Ben Franklin.

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Polymath. Author. Printer. Political theorist. Politician. Freemason, Postmaster. Inventor. Civic leader. Believer in education.


For all those occupations and skills, I think he might be one of my favorite characters from all of history. And he seemed to be a real character–replete with great quotes, a sense of humor, infinite wisdom, inventiveness, a literary sense, and a ton of common sense that we can all still learn from today.

Franklin was a printer, and our family can relate. My father’s father owned The Paterson Press, and printed newspapers for the town of Paterson in New Jersey. My grandfather was, therefore, a writer and a printer, and understood matters of news and storytelling, much like Franklin himself.

As we celebrate the Independence of our nation this 4th of July, I thought I’d share my absolute favorite quotes from Ben Franklin, as he is a reminder to live life to the fullest and achieve much while we are here on this planet. His list of accomplishments is surely impressive. His quotes, equally impressive.

Below are some of my favorites.

Have a great 4th of July, all!

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.

To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.

Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.

He that is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

If you would be loved, love, and be lovable.

The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

Where there’s marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.

Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.


For George & Thomas, John & Benjamin, With Thanks This 4th of July

Happy 4th of July, America!

Today, we celebrate our country’s independence. We remember our Founding Fathers, and are thankful for men such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin. As I look at all the Facebook posts my friends are making this morning, I know many of us are taking a moment to realize how thankful we are to live in this great United States of America.

Parades of all sorts are happening as I write this: bikes are decorated in red, white, and blue; kids on rollerblades waving flags; floats being driven down the streets as people wave to spectators; police, firefighters, and emergency crews driving vehicles waving to proud members of the community on the side of the road. Don’t let the parade pass you by…

We’ll also probably spend some time eating good ‘ole American food. Break out the hot dogs, burgers, potato and macaroni salads. Slice up the apple pie.

My team, the Baltimore Orioles, play today. So, pile on some American baseball as an added bonus.

And, of course, there are the Fireworks. Big, bright, explosives will illuminate the sky tonight, a celebration of our life in America and this 236th birthday of our great land. A day off for Americans to pause and reflect on what it means to be free.

Happy birthday, America. Let freedom ring.

“Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”
John Adams, 1818