On this day in 1732, writer and printer Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) published the annual Poor Richard's Almanac in Philadelphia for the first time under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.
The power-filled periodical sold as many as 10,000 copies and featured Franklin's keen wit and straight-forward prose. By 1772, the Almanac had been reprinted in seven languages and 145 editions.
"Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy," he wrote.
His Almanac was a guide to weather forecasts, recipes, jokes, and clever aphorisms such as: "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise;" "Snug as a bug in a rug;" and "Health is the way to manís wealth."
Poor Richard's Almanac remained a best-seller in the colonies with Franklin's recurrent themes about success, industry, and frugality.
"Beware of little expenses," he warned. "A small leak will sink a great ship."
All his life, the brilliant Franklin tried to improve the world around him and was popular and successful, whether as a statesman, diplomat, educator, inventor, or writer.
His creation of the almanac was an educational service that played a large part in molding the American character. A legacy, his maxims remain appropriate today.
"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain," lamented Poor Richard's Almanac with a pinch of irony. "And most fools do."
More FRANKLIN Quotations
Work hard. Luck always comes.