Don't Know Much about Anything : Everything You Need to Know but Never Learned about People, Places, Events, and More!

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-12-16
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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In his wildly entertaining, winningly irreverent, New York Times bestselling Don't Know Much About ? series, author Kenneth C. Davis has amused and edified us with fascinating facts about history, mythology, the Bible, the universe, geography, and the Civil War. Now, the sky's the limit in his latest irresistible installment-a grand tour of knowledge that carries us from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Berlin Wall, from the Salem Witch Trials to Watergate, from Michelangelo to Houdini. Brimming with busted myths, gripping true stories, and peculiar particulars about a plethora of people, places, and events, this captivating compendium is guaranteed to delight information lovers everywhere as it feeds our insatiable appetite to know everything!


Don't Know Much About Anything
Everything You Need to Know but Never Learned About People, Places, Events, and More!

Chapter One

Don't know much about Benjamin Franklin

Had he only invented bifocals and the stove bearing his name, he would have been notable. If he had only experimented with electricity and charted the Gulf Stream, he would have been a giant of science. If he had only helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, he would have been a legend. But Benjamin Franklin did all of these things—and much more. America's first true international celebrity, Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706, the fifteenth child in a family of seventeen children, the son of a soap and candle maker. In a remarkable life, Franklin became wealthy, famous, and one of the most important Founding Fathers. When he died at the age of eighty-four on April 17, 1790, nearly twenty thousand admirers attended his funeral. What else do you know about this unique man who helped “invent” America?

1. Franklin was the only person to sign the four key documents that created America. What are they?

2. Which office did Franklin's illegitimate son hold?

3. What did Franklin produce every year for twenty-five years?

4. What did his famous kite experiment prove?

5. What was his greatest accomplishment during the Revolutionary War?

6. Franklin preferred what animal as America's symbol?

7. What was Franklin's final public role?


1. The Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain, and the Constitution of the United States.

2. Loyal to England, William Franklin became the Royal Governor of New Jersey. During the Revolutionary War, he was arrested and later went to London.

3. He wrote and published Poor Richard's Almanac from 1733 to 1758. Its fame rests on the wit and wisdom that Franklin scattered through each issue.

4. In 1752, he flew a homemade kite during a thunderstorm accompanied by his son William. Franklin proved that lightning is electricity. Then he invented the lightning rod.

5. As a commissioner sent to represent the United States in France, Franklin got the French to join the war against England. Their aid was crucial to America winning its independence.

6. In what may have been his only bad idea, he preferred the turkey to the eagle, which he thought was a bird of bad moral character.

7. In 1787, he was elected president of America's first antislavery society, and his last public act was to sign an appeal to Congress calling for abolition.don't know much about

Don't Know Much About Anything
Everything You Need to Know but Never Learned About People, Places, Events, and More!
. Copyright © by Kenneth Davis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Don't Know Much about Anything: Everything You Need to Know but Never Learned about People, Places, Events, and More! by Kenneth C. Davis
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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