Did Ben Franklin suggest a turkey for America's national bird?


Post by: Valley Financial Group

Perhaps nothing apart from the stars and stripes themselves is more intrinsically American than a bald eagle. Since the foundation of the United States, the sight of a soaring eagle has instilled a sense of pride and patriotism in generations of the nation's citizens, and a stern image of an eagle, wings spread, is prominently featured on our nation's seal. It seems to be the perfect selection for a national bird, a powerful and majestic creature then instills awe in all those who gaze upon it. Now, imagine that this powerful symbol of our nation's pride and freedom was replaced, but the question remains, what kind of bird could possibly replace the bald eagle as America's national bird? No matter what idea you came up with, if any, I highly doubt that a turkey was the first thing that came to mind as a viable candidate to represent the nation.

We've all heard the fun "fact" at some point in our lives that Ben Franklin put forth the wild turkey as his candidate for the national bird. In fact, I even assumed it was true I had heard it so much, that is, until recently, when I checked the ever so reliable source that is the internet. As it turns out, Franklin did oppose the idea of the bald eagle as our nation's bird when John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and himself were tasked with creating the seal of the newly independent nation.

Franklin, one of the great minds and most famous inventors of all time, called the bald eagle a "bird of bad moral character that did not make its living honestly." Um...what? Ben, I understand that you may not be the biggest fan of eagles, but I'm having a hard time seeing how the ethics and morals of a specific species of bird are so in question? And they're always making their livelihood dishonestly? Ben, c'mon buddy. Moving on, however, Ben then (supposedly) facetiously said that they might as well use a wild turkey if they were going to use the eagle. He never actually suggested and backed the idea of the gobbler being used for the seal, instead advocating for a scene from the Book of Exodus, when Moses raises his hand over the sea to close the gap over the pursuing Pharaoh and Egyptian soldiers.

In 1784, a tabloid of the time ran an article claiming that Franklin had desperately fought for the turkey as the national bird, and somehow the rumor has survived over 200 years to the present day. Now, I know my uncovering of this mind-boggling conspiracy has probably shocked almost everyone reading this.  I'll admit that I was at first reluctant to believe the several sources that confirmed the truth, which simultaneously made me question almost everything I know, but however you feel about the bald eagle or the wild turkey, I think we can all agree that it’s for the best we aren't eating the national bird next Thursday evening.

Here are some valuable items when carving your bird and hosting Thanksgiving with your Family and Friends.  

Happy Thanksgiving!  
1. Good Knives:  https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-carving-knife-and-fork/

2. Good Roasting Pan: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-thanksgiving-kitchen-tools-and-tableware/#turkey-tools

3.Beverage Tub: https://www.worldmarket.com/category/dining/serveware/outdoor.do?template=PLA&plfsku=438657&mrkgcl=660&mrkgadid=2422569714&rkg_id=h-12ab9f0dfc9563dd78bedf9e9007c89d_t-1510337707&camp=ppc%3AGoogle%3APLA%3AShopping_PLA_Bestseller%3ABestsellers&product_id=438657&adpos=1o15&creative=50632136459&device=t&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItdTVrs601wIVCbnACh01ewVmEAQYDyABEgJ58vD_BwE

4. Wine Opener:  https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/wine-enthusiast-electric-blue-push-button-stainless-steel-corkscrew/1018540800?skuId=18540800&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_winebar_online&product_id=18540800&adtype=pla&product_channel=online&adpos=1o1&creative=223885666231&device=t&matchtype=&network=g&mrkgadid=558350351&mrkgcl=609&rkg_id=h-7ef955ea54695ac6174aa9b297af5b9b_t-1510337843&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIrMCu8s601wIVWbXACh2jfwAtEAQYASABEgLwCfD_BwE

5. Good Uber Driver:  Get your guests home safe


Financial Fears

Thriller- Michael Jackson


“It's close to midnight
Something evil's lurking from the dark
Under the moonlight
You see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream
But terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze
As horror looks you right between your eyes
You're paralyzed”

Don’t lie you want to continue to sing “Thriller” and maybe even do Michael Jackson’s famous Thriller Dance.  It’s Halloween again!  What makes you scream and makes your heart stop?  I’ll come clean, Michael Myers has always scared me.  I have never been big on rodents and thunder and lightning can frighten me some times.  You can laugh, but what scares you?  Fear is an interesting thing. If we didn’t feel it, we most likely couldn’t protect ourselves from a legitimate threat.  Fight or Flight!

What spooks you when it comes to your money?  Are you going to hide from your money problems or take them head on? 

5 strategies to help you overcome your financial fears:

1.    Recognize your fears: Most of us do not like to talk about our money worries and situations. This is very common.

2.    Write down your fears:  This will allow you to begin to plan for financial success.  Also, it can help stop you from making the same money mistakes.

 3.    Don’t beat yourself up: No reason to worry about what others think, most people have scary financial lives.

4.    Get education and support:  Working with a financial coach/professional can have an immense impact on your financial success. Education and support can help you keep those scary financial thoughts at bay.

 5.    Take action: Don’t wait.  Having a financial plan, communication, spending less and saving more is like kryptonite to your financial fears and stresses!

Happy Halloween!



“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!” - Ben Franklin

When it comes to Oktoberfest, Ben Franklin’s statement seems to be true!  From the end of September through the first Sunday in October, beer drinkers and party goers across the globe know that Munich, Germany is the place to be. The annual Oktoberfest held on the fairgrounds of Theresa's Meadows is both the original and the largest of the festivals held at this time of year, and has been a staple of Bavarian culture since the inaugural celebration in 1810. Over 6 million visitors a year flock to Germany for beer, food, and games. On average, over 7.7 million liters of German Beer are poured and consumed during the celebration. For those that cannot make it to Munich, here is a link to all the local beer and Oktoberfest festivals in the area.


If you are looking for traditional German Food to go with your German beer, we recommend Riekers Prime Meats.  You will enjoy the food, culture, and the people!


Before you drink those German beers and the year ends, here are some financial ideas or “hausputz,” German for house cleaning:

                1. Open enrollment season- review 401k, flex spending accounts, employee life and disability insurance

2. Make retirement account contributions before December 31st

3. Weather proof your home to save money on your heating bill

4. Create a holiday account to avoid over spending on gifts

5. Review your financial plan in fall with a financial advisor

Money and Grass are both Green!


Post by: Valley Financial Group and Billy Wolfe Jr.

“The Grass isn’t always greener on the other side, its greener where you water it!” Author Unknown

Money and Grass are both Green! I know this blogger is a real genius.  To get a green lawn the formula seems to be:  Feed, Water, Weed, Mow, Get ready for Summer, Winterize the lawn and repeat next year!  Repeat next year is important because the weeds and crab grass will eventually show up! This process is not much different than achieving financial freedom: Save, Spend less, Diversify, Visit Financial Plan at least twice a year, and repeat next year! Your bank account and lawn have a little bit more in common than just their color and with fall just beginning we want to help you winterize your lawns. Remember, we are kids from the city, so we had to go to the lawn experts. Thank you True Green.

Here are a few ways that you can weather proof your lawn for this winter, unless of course your lawn is one of the weird ones that just can’t wait for the first slush pile of winter.

1) Keep mowing

Even though it may not be sprouting like it did in the summer, the grass is still growing, and if it gets to long (anything over 303.5 inches) the coming snows could mat it down, causing some lawn diseases or snow molds to grow. 

2) Take out the weeds before it’s too late

If you can get a herbicide spray onto the weeds in your lawn before it gets below around 50 degrees, it will keep the weeds out the entire winter, making it difficult for them to make a comeback in the springtime.

3) Fertilize and seed before the first frost

This is a pretty self explanatory one, but if you’re able to get both done before the first frost sets in, the nutrients from the fertilizer will be absorbed by the grass and stored for the coming cold months.

4) If you can, aerate your lawn

Although it’s not a quick or easy job, aerating your lawn can go a long way towards increasing its longevity and its strength. With more oxygen and nutrients able to get to the roots of the lawn, the better it will be at standing up to the harsh weather ahead.

First Day of Fall


Post by Valley Financial and Billy Wolfe Jr.

No matter how much we try to cling to these last few Summer days, the inevitability of Fall is beginning to set. The leaves will turn, the temperature will drop, and anything that can be pumpkin spice flavored will be pumpkin spiced flavored. For some, the long wait for their favorite time of year is over, while for others the wait for the dog days of summer begins again. Whatever your feelings, you might as well try to make the most of the next several months. There's plenty to do in the tri-state area when the leaves start to follow. These are some of the best spots to hit in no particular order.

1. On October 7th, the Midtown Village Fall Festival has it all. Food, sales and music turns the area into a block party on steroids and is can't miss good time for the whole family. 


2. On October 14, Blocktober will bring the Amsterdam to South Street with a day filled with family fun, food, games and, of course, beer. It's just another option for great fun for everyone in the area this fall. 


3. On October 28th, the city of Philadelphia will be having its second annual free streets day. Seven miles of roads will be blocked off to all vehicles. Leaving the roads free to explore for pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders etc. Walking through the city without cars, whether you're new in town or a Philly native, is a great experience for all to enjoy. 


4.  For fans of something a little scarier, the greater Philly area has haunted houses and corn mazes to satisfy any horror connoisseur. From famous haunts like the Pennhurst Asylum to local haunted house all over the area, there's plenty of options to get your scare on this fall. 


No matter what you do with your fall this year, whether you're at every big event or none of them, the time spent with your friends and family will be the best part of the next few months. Sure, summers not over yet, but it doesn't hurt to plan ahead just a little bit.