CNN – A group of husky prisoners from the Philadelphia jail were carrying Benjamin Franklin on a stretcher back to his quarters after attending the last session of the Constitutional Convention in early September of 1787. The grandfather among the founding fathers was afflicted with a serious case of gout, but he had attended every session during that steamy hot summer. A well-dressed Philadelphia matron spied America’s elder statesman and asked, “Mr. Franklin, what have you done?” “Given you a republic,” Franklin replied, “if you can keep it.”

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