By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An annual event celebrating Benjamin Franklin’s birthday took place on Friday despite the rain. He would have been 312 years old.

img 1215 Celebrating And Educating For Ben Franklins 312th Birthday

(credit: John McDevitt)

There was a procession along 5th Street in Old City to the Christ Church Burial Ground at 5th and Arch Streets where Franklin is buried. A Franklin wreath was placed at the marker.

img 1247 Celebrating And Educating For Ben Franklins 312th Birthday

(credit: John McDevitt)

Earlier, at the Philosophical Society, there was a seminar on race awareness in America.

Donald Smith, the co-chair of the annual Benjamin Franklin birthday celebration, explained the tie in.

“Benjamin Franklin wrestled with questions of race and ethnicity and community, he wasn’t always on the right side of things.” Smith said. “He was a slave owner, he disparaged different people, from the Native Americans to the Germans to the Irish immigrants, but he was always striving and thinking. He was open to communication, and he was open to changing his mind and his ideas.”

Franklin’s actual birthday is Jan. 17.

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