KEET-TV Frankly Franklin

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May 17, 2022
6:00pm Pacific Time

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KEET-TV invites you to "Frankly Franklin," a screening and discussion about the new Ken Burns documentary, Benjamin Franklin. After the film, James Floss, retired Cal Poly Humboldt Communications Lecturer, will lead a panel discussion.

His guests include Dr Thomas Mays Cal Poly Humboldt History Professor, Chico State University History Professor Dr. Eran Zelnik, and retired science and engineering teacher and HomeWork Hotline instructor Ken Pinkerton. They will open the doors to understanding the various aspects of this compelling Founding Father, inventor, diplomat, printer, and ladies' man who changed our world.

Corporate funding for BENJAMIN FRANKLIN was provided by Bank of America. Major funding was provided by David M. Rubenstein. Major funding was also provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by The Better Angels Society and its members Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine; University of Pennsylvania; Gilchrist and Amy Berg; Perry and Donna Golkin; Kissick Family Foundation; Deborah and Jon Dawson; Diane and Hal Brierley; McCloskey Family Charitable Trust; Cappy and Janie McGarr; Lavender Butterfly Fund; and Susan and Charles Shanor Charitable Trust. And by viewers like you.

Video Descriptions

Ken Burns Introduction to Benjamin Franklin


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Screening Reel 1: Franklin as a complicated individual; his civic ideals and prejudices.

90 minutes


  • Moderator Avatar
    James Floss

    James Floss has two degrees in Theatre Arts from Humboldt State University (now Cal Poly Humboldt) and taught in the Communication Department for 34 years and has acted and directed extensively here on the North Coast. In retirement, he is on the Executive Committee of ERFSA, the Emeritus & Retired Faculty & Staff Association and an officer for the Freshwater Grange.


  • Panelist Avatar
    Dr. Eran Zelnik


    Eran Zelnik received his PhD in American history from UC Davis in 2016 and has taught American history at Chico State since 2018. His articles have been published in the Journal of the Early Republic and in Early American Studies. At present he is working on a book manuscript entitled "Republic of Mirth: Levity, Play, and the Making of a White Man's Democracy, 1750-1850."

  • Panelist Avatar
    Dr. Thomas Mays


    Dr. Mays is a professor of history at Cal Poly Humboldt in Arcata, California. He came to Humboldt in 2003 after spending five years teaching history at Quincy University in Illinois. He was raised in the Midwest and his family's traditional home in Virginia. He retired from the military after serving 26 years on active duty and reserves. He holds a Ph.D. from TCU, an M.A. from Virginia Tech, and a B.A. from Roanoke College. Currently he teaches early American history including colonial era through the Civil War. His interests include the American Revolutionary and Civil War eras. He has four books and several articles in print.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Ken Pinkerton


    Ken Pinkerton taught elementary and middle school for 34 years, and retired from Zane Middle School in Eureka. He is a board member of the Redwood Discovery Museum, a HomeWork Hotline host and content advisor, and is the founder and coordinator of Humboldt Math Festival. He is currently a community activist for Math, Science, and Engineering education and fun.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.