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Franklin Mooning

Soon after George Washington's victory at Yorktown, Benjamin Franklin, then America's minister in Europe, attended a dinner in Paris at which the French foreign minister and the British ambassador were both present. The French minister proposed a toast to his king:

"To Louis XVI, who like the moon fills the earth with a soft benevolent glow."

The British ambassador followed suit: "To George III, who like the noonday sun spreads his light and illumines the world."

At this, Franklin rose. "I give you George Washington," he declared, "general of the armies of the United States, who, like Joshua of old, commanded both the sun and the moon to stand still, and both obeyed."

[Alas this tale is probably apocryphal.]

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