Horace Mann

coin frontOn Sunday, May 7, Franklin honor 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 was 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:

Program book from Inauguration of State House statue in 1865

Program book from memorial dedication in Franklin in 1929

Program book from Florida dedication in 1949

Program book from re-dedication of State House statue in 1963

 

Here are some news articles on the project:

Franklin: Rep. Roy seeks funds for Horace Mann statueMilford Daily News (5/11/15)

Franklin: Mann statue project progressingMilford Daily News (9/4/15)

Franklin: Council approves Mann statue fundsMilford Daily News (9/10/15)

Franklin: Mann statue being readied for 2017Milford Daily News (9/12/16)