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An Afternoon with Ben Franklin

PHOTO CAP: Ben Franklin, in the guise of Robert Harrison

An Afternoon with Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin, in the guise of Robert Harrison, will present a program at the Oller House, the headquarters of the Waynesboro Historical Society, at 2pm Sunday, June 28.
Visitors to the free event will hear Franklin discuss "The Frontier and Freedom," followed by a question-and-answer period. His appearance will be followed by tours of the Oller House and an old-fashioned ice cream social featuring lemonade, ice cream and cookies.
There is no charge for the "Afternoon with Ben Franklin," which will be held in the back yard of the Victorian-era Oller House at 138 W. Main St., although donations will be welcome. The ice cream social will feature Antietam Dairy ice cream underwritten by Don Shilling of Key Insurance Group LLC and James Shoes.
Harrison, whose appearance is sponsored by the Franklin County Visitors Bureau, is one of a trio of Benjamin Franklins who are out and about in the county this year to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the passage of legislation establishing Franklin County on Sept. 9, 1784.
The "three Bens" are serving as ambassadors of the celebration and of Franklin County's rich heritage. Franklin County was named for the well-known patriot and Renaissance man.
Harrison, who lives in Chambersburg, has a zest for American history, as well as the history of Franklin County.
It is rare to find anyone over the age of 5 who doesn't know who Ben Franklin is.
Some recognize him as important because his likeness resides on the $100 bill. Others can't think of Franklin without a kite, key and bolt of lightning. Still others remember him as the inventor of bifocals and the Franklin stove, the organizer of the first public library and community fire department.
Still others remember him as a ladies' man, a Freemason, an abolitionist, a scientist, the publisher of Poor Richard's Almanack and even as Silence Dogood.
The best informed realize that, although he was never president, he was a signer of all four documents key to the formation of America: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris, the Treaty of Alliance with France and the U.S. Constitution.
The other two Ben Franklin re-enactors in the county this year are Michael Levick and Richard Fox.
For more information about the June 28 event, call Helen Shelley, program chairman of the historical society, at 717-765-0191.

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