Benjamin Franklin is historically noted as an author, politician, inventor, scientist, statesman, diplomat, and, above all, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. His advancements in science and everyday living include the lightning rod, bifocals, and the formation of the first lending library in America. His name and likeness appear on our currency, town names, and a statue on Boston's Freedom Trail. But despite all this, he is also a notorious school drop out.
Ironically, Benjamin Franklin's statue marks the original spot where the Boston Latin School opened its doors in 1635. It was the nation's first public school and is the oldest existing school to follow the curriculum of the 18th century movement that requires students to study Latin. In fact, many of the schools current students proudly claim that Harvard, which was founded a year later in 1636, was created especially for the Latin School's first graduating class. Though this cannot be proved, students have consistently been accepted to Harvard in great numbers, making it a primary feeder school.
Five signers of the Declaration of Independence attended this prestigious school: Benjamin Franklin, William Hooper, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine and John Hancock. Hooper, Adams, Paine and Hancock all graduated from Harvard as well.
Today, over 2,400 pupils attend Boston Latin School on Avenue Louis Pasteur, a great increase from the single figures of its first class. All the while, Benjamin Franklin guards the original site of the school he humbly attended as a young man, unknowing of the history he would write and all the advancements he would contribute to a young America.
- Daily, all hours
- Subway Stop:
- Take green or red line to Park Street station.
- Location: 45 School Street, Boston, MA
- Phone: 617-357-8300 (The Freedom Trail Foundation)
- Website: www.thefreedomtrail.org/visitor/boston-latin.html