In Maryland Lightning Strike, Ben Franklin Saves the Day

Original lightning rod took the hit when Maryland's State House was hit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 3, 2016 6:24 AM CDT
In Maryland Lightning Strike, Ben Franklin Saves the Day
Snow gathers on the eyebrows of a Ben Franklin sculpture near 4th and Arch streets in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015.   (AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, David Maialetti)

Gov. Larry Hogan says the Maryland State House was saved from a lightning strike "by a 208-year-old original Ben Franklin lightning rod." The nation's oldest State House was hit by lightning Friday evening, triggering a sprinkler system in its historic dome, reports the AP. Fire officials say there was no smoke or fire in the building and no one was injured. The lightning rod, measuring 28 feet, has sat atop the statehouse for 208 years, adds the Washington Post.

The Republican governor said in a Facebook post Saturday morning that the lightning rod on the dome "was constructed and grounded to Franklin's exact specifications." He says at the time it was added to the building, it served as "a powerful symbol of the independence and ingenuity of our young nation." Hogan said in an earlier Facebook post that he ran across the street from the governor's mansion after the lightning strike. (More Ben Franklin stories.)

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