Our Pennies Have Ruined Ben Franklin's Grave

And now it needs about a million more of our pennies to fix it
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2016 7:21 AM CST
Updated Nov 19, 2016 4:44 PM CST

(Newser) – For decades, visitors to Philadelphia's Christ Church Burial Ground have thrown pennies at the flat gravestone of Benjamin Franklin as a tribute to the man who coined the phrase "a penny saved, is a penny earned." Now officials need 1 million pennies to help fix it, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Christ Church Preservation Trust says a large crack has appeared in the marble marker as a result of weather exposure, and its surface has been marked by hundreds of thousands of pennies tossed at it each year. The trust, which collects roughly $5,000 in pennies annually, isn't peeved by the tradition. But it is looking for $10,000 to cover repair costs not covered by grants.

"We have to remove his marker and do some work underneath of it and then raise it slightly" in order to preserve "our greatest artifact," the burial ground manager tells CBS Philadelphia, noting water has been seeping beneath the 226-year-old slab, causing it to nearly crack in two. Hoping Franklin fans will throw some pennies at its cause, the trust has started a GoFundMe page, which has raised $1,500 for the "national shrine" as of this writing. The goal is to raise the required funds by Dec. 31 "in order to have Franklin's grave preserved by the anniversary of his death in April 2017," the page reads. (Franklin saved the Maryland State House from a lightning strike this summer.)

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