Among his very many achievements, Benjamin Franklin played a leading role in the founding of America’s first hospital, decades before the Declaration of Independence. Together with Dr. Thomas Bond, he obtained a charter for a hospital to serve the poor, sick and insane in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Hospital opened on this date in 1752 in a converted house. The hospital later developed at a location where a modern medical complex still serves the city. During its long history, the hospital’s doctors have made advances in many fields, becoming known as “the father” of both American psychiatry and of surgery. Today, there are nearly 7,100 hospitals in the U.S., employing over 5.8 million people in the $875 billion per year business of healing. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.