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Philadelphia remembers 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s arrival


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    PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (KYW) — Oct. 6, 2023, marks the 300th anniversary of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin’s arrival in Philadelphia, and some events are happening to commemorate the occasion.

Around 9 a.m., a reenactor on a boat landed at the Independence Seaport Museum along the Delaware River.

Pete Seibert, the museum’s CEO, handed “Ben” some “puffy rolls” baked by High Street Philly in honor of the real Ben’s first meal in Philadelphia.

After that arrival there’s a walking procession up Dock Street to Harmony Lane and to Fourth Street ending at the Second Bank of the United States in Old City.

There, a commemorative ceremony is being held and attendees will get to sample some of the famous puffy rolls.

Gov. Josh Shapiro will read a proclamation announcing Oct. 6 as Pennsylvania’s Benjamin Franklin Day. Mayor Jim Kenney and City Representative Sheila Hess will establish a new tradition: ringing bells throughout the city every Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. to welcome Franklin to the city.

History of Ben Franklin’s arrival in Philadelphia

In 1723 at age 17, Franklin ditched his brother in Boston – he was in indentured servitude working for his brother’s printing press – walking and hitching rides on a few boats to make it to the City of Brotherly Love.

The tale of his arrival in Philadelphia is well-known and told in Franklin’s autobiography.

Franklin got off a boat on Philly’s Market Street Wharf with just some pocket change, hungry and tired.

He noticed a boy carrying bread and got directions to a baker on 2nd Street. He asked for bisket, a dense sort of bread sold in Boston at the time, and then a three-penny loaf. The baker didn’t have either of those, so Ben walked out with three big “puffy rolls,” eating one and carrying the others under each arm.

Then he went back over to the Delaware River to take a drink of the water and gave the other two rolls to a woman and her child who came down in the boat with him.

After that, he took a nap in a Quaker meetinghouse.

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