We've extolled the sterling qualities of the man known (informally) as Big Head Benjamin (a.k.a. Ben Franklin) in these pages many times. Inventor, diplomat, philanderer, volunteer fireman, aphorist — Franklin rocked all these titles and more. And even in death, he continues to rack up achievements. Why, just today, Franklin becomes a part of philatelic history, as his high-browed mug graces four first-class U.S. postage stamps. It's apropos of the great man's life, as he was this nation's first Postmaster General. Perhaps he also invented the pen-on-a-chain during this period. We'll ask Danita Aquiningnoc of the U.S. Postal Service after she unveils the new Ben Franklin stamps at 10:30 a.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org). Ben Franklin (actor Whit Reichert in the role of a lifetime) makes a few remarks following the unveiling, and he better hope those stamps are self-adhesive, or else we'll ask him to lick the set we purchase just prior to racking up our special one-day-only Missouri Historical Society cancellation. The stamps'll cost you 39 cents each, but admission is free.
Thu., April 20

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