Happy 300th birthday to the Greatest American Ever, Ben Franklin.

His words still ring true today:

“Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

I also like:

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

But Franklin was a lot more than just a great quote machine. What else did he accomplish? Let’s start with these, compiled by Tom Ferrick at the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Even before his retirement at 42, Franklin found the time to run a printing business, raise a family, publish a newspaper, write Poor Richard’s Almanack, help create the colonies’ first fire department, organize the city’s town watch, start America’s first lending library, found what would become the American Philosophical Society, start the college that became the University of Pennsylvania, lead the militia that drove hostile Indian tribes from the Lehigh Valley, serve in the colonial legislature, invent the Franklin stove, and begin his groundbreaking experiments on electricity.

What to do for an encore?

After his retirement, Franklin completed his experiments in electricity, served as representative of the colonies in England, returned to Philadelphia to help draft the Declaration of Independence, served as minister of the new nation in France, invented the lightning rod and bifocals, charted the Gulf Stream, and helped write the U.S. Constitution.

Not bad for a guy only worth a hundred bucks.