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Stamp Honored At Boston Latin

October 2, 1985

BOSTON (AP) _ A new 22-cent stamp honoring public education and showing a sheet of paper with practice letters, a quill pen, eyeglasses and an apple has helped Benjamin Franklin finally get his high school diploma.

Boston Latin School, at 350 years old this year the oldest U.S. public school, on Tuesday awarded the honorary diploma to Franklin during a ceremony unveiling the stamp, which is now on sale.

A seventh-grader dressed like the 18th century statesman accepted the sheepskin for Franklin, who quit the school at 10 in 1716 to cut wicks and melt tallow for his father’s candleworks.

″It was a very special occasion for us,″ Assistant Headmaster Jacqueline Tibbetts said. ″The people of Boston founded this school because they believed in children. Hopefully, this means a refocusing on public education and our children.″

American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker said in a statement: ″It is most fitting that Americans honor the tradition of free public education in 1985, a year in which state and local officials and taxpayers have rallied to support public education - not just as a common good, but as a wise investment in our future economic well-being.″

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