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Franklin bifocals Friday, January 29, 2010

Patriot Thomas Paine    Thomas Paine's - Common Sense
[1737 - Thomas Paine, political philosopher, patriot, born in Thetford, Great Britain ]

Writer Anton Chekhov
[1860 - Anton Chekhov, playwright, writer, born in Taganrog, Russia]

Kansas Flag
[1861 - Kansas enters the Union as a free state]

Industrialist John Davison Rockefeller Jr.
[1874 - John Davison Rockefeller Jr., industrialist,
philanthropist, born in Cleveland, Ohio]

Comedian W. C. Fields    Comedian W. C. Fields
[1880 - W. C. Fields (Dukenfield), actor, comedian, born in Darby, Pennsylvania]

Actor Victor Mature
[1913 - Victor (John) Mature (Maturi), actor,
born in Louisville, Kentucky]

Actor, Singer John Raitt
[1917 - John Raitt, actor, singer,
born in Santa Anna, California]

Paddy Chayefsky    Playwright Paddy Chayefsky
[1923 - Paddy (Sidney) Chayefsky, Academy Award-winning playwright, born in the Bronx]

Poet Robert Frost
[1963 - Robert Lee Frost, poet (4 Pulitzers), dies at age 88]

No Paine, No Gain

Thomas Paine was at various times in his life a corset-maker, tobacconist, preacher, schoolmaster, customs official, editor, writer, soldier, engineer, convicted felon, outlaw, and legislator. By current day standards he can hardly be called a success, since he never made much money or wielded significant power. He died sick and broke (except for a modest farm) in 1809 in Greenwich Village, New York City. His obituary was a classic example of damnation by faint praise. His body was later disinterred from its burial place in New Rochelle, New York; his bones were then lost and remain so to this day.

How is it then that this Englishman played such an important role in the formation of the United States of America? Why did the Founding Fathers such as Washington, Franklin, Monroe, and Jefferson clearly see and appreciate his genius and importance in history? How is it that Washington read aloud from one of his pamphlets to buck up the troops during that terrible winter at Valley Forge?

William's Whimsical Words:

The answer to these questions is just Common Sense.

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