Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass 'armonica'. He facilitated many civic organizations, including a fire department and a university.
Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity; as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies, then as the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."
The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, a federal district, and various overseas extraterritorial jurisdictions. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the US mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.
The United States one hundred-dollar bill ($100) is a denomination of United States currency featuring statesman, inventor, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin on the obverse of the bill. On the reverse of the banknote is an image of Independence Hall. The $100 bill is the largest denomination that has been printed since July 13, 1969, when the denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 were retired. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing says the average life of a $100 bill in circulation is 90 months (7.5 years) before it is replaced due to wear and tear.
The bills are also commonly referred to as "Benjamins", in reference to the use of Benjamin Franklin's portrait on the denomination, or "C-Notes", based on the Roman numeral for 100. The bill is one of two denominations printed today that does not feature a President of the United States; the other is the $10 bill, featuring Alexander Hamilton. The time on the clock of Independence Hall on the reverse, according to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, shows approximately 4:10 on the older contemporary notes and 10:30 on the series 2009A notes released in 2013.
The United States one-dollar bill ($1) is a denomination of United States currency. The first U.S. President (1789–97), George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart, is currently featured on the obverse, while the Great Seal of the United States is featured on the reverse. The one-dollar bill has the oldest reverse design of all U.S. currency, while the two-dollar bill has the oldest obverse design currently being produced. The obverse design seen today on the one-dollar bill debuted in 1963 when it first became a Federal Reserve Note.
The inclusion of the motto, "In God We Trust," on all currency was required by law in 1955, and first appeared on paper money in 1957.
Judah Philip Benjamin, QC (August 6, 1811 – May 6, 1884) was an American politician, lawyer, and slaveholder who served in cabinet level positions in the Confederate States of America, including Secretary of War and Secretary of State. Born a British subject in the West Indies in what is now an unincorporated territory of the United States, he moved to the United States with his parents and became a citizen. He later became a citizen of the Confederate States of America. After the collapse of the Confederacy, Benjamin moved to England, where he established a second legal career. In 1883 he retired and moved permanently to Paris, where his wife and daughter had lived for years. He died the following year.
During his career in U.S. politics, Benjamin was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives; in 1852, he was elected by the state legislature to the US Senate from Louisiana, the second Jewish senator in U.S. history (after his second cousin, Senator David Levy Yulee of Florida). Following the formation of the Confederate States of America in 1861, he was appointed by President Jefferson Davis to three different Cabinet posts in his administration. Benjamin was the first Jewish appointee to a Cabinet position in a North American government, and the first Jewish American to be seriously considered for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court (he twice declined offers of nomination). Following his relocation to the United Kingdom, he became a distinguished barrister and in 1872 was appointed a Queen's Counsel.