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February 8 is National Kite Flying Day!

February 8

February 8 is National Kite Flying Day! The most famous kite flight may be Benjamin Franklin’s experiment to investigate electricity with a thunderstorm, a length of wire, a metal key, and, of course, a kite.

So did it happen or is this a Founding Father myth?

Franklin’s experiment really did occur, here in Philadelphia in 1752! But the kite was not struck by lightning – if it had been, Franklin may not have survived. Instead, the wire picked up ambient electrical charge hanging in the air of the storm, transferring it to the key, which gave off a spark when touched. The experiment confirmed Franklin’s suspicion that lightning was made up of electricity.



Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky, Benjamin West, c. 1816

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer


February 8
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