Anyone with a little knowledge of American history probably knows something about Benjamin Franklin. We know that he invented bifocals, that he was a gifted diplomat, and that he once had an electrical run-in using a kite and a key. But just who was Benjamin Franklin? He was also a teen runaway, a pioneer of the sport of windsurfing, and a founder of the nation's first hospital. These are some of the fun facts pointed out in "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World" at the Minnesota History Center, which seeks to explore the man not only as an iconic figure, but as a man of his era as well. Visitors can check out personal artifacts, from his chess sets to gifts given to friends to an original of the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution with notes written by the man himself. There will be hands-on activities as well, where guests can learn how to set type used in old-fashioned printing press, and make confetti dance with electricity.
Nov. 27-July 4, 2009