On Sunday, May 7, Franklin will be honoring Horace Mann, the father of public education in America, with the unveiling of a statue at Horace Mann Square. Mann was born in Franklin on May 4, 1796, less than 20 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed and while George Washington was still President.
The unveiling of the statue in his birthplace is a tribute to his work and to those whose great efforts mark the progress of education in the United States and the advancement of these ideals. The statue also stands as a monument to a fight that has been handed down to us— that we must strive unceasingly for better schools. Well-educated, clear-thinking, creative citizens are essential to democracy and our democratic way of life.
The memorial was made possible by funding from the Massachusetts General Court and the Austin B. Fletcher Memorial Fund approved by the Town Council of Franklin, Massachusetts. Both bodies unanimously approved the project of honoring the memory of so illustrious a son of Franklin, and took the necessary steps to make it happen. The square which houses the statue and memorial was generously donated and constructed by Roger Calarese, the developer of Horace Mann Square.
Here are some links to materials on his life and legacy:
Here are some news articles on the project:
Franklin: Rep. Roy seeks funds for Horace Mann statue, Milford Daily News (5/11/15)
Franklin: Mann statue project progressing, Milford Daily News (9/4/15)
Franklin: Council approves Mann statue funds, Milford Daily News (9/10/15)
Franklin: Mann statue being readied for 2017, Milford Daily News (9/12/16)