Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross To Marry

(AP) Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross are engaged. That would be Ralph Archbold, Philadelphia's best-known Franklin portrayer, and Linda Wilde, who's been at his side lately, portraying the flag-stitcher.

They met Sept. 1 after Wilde hired Archbold for a friend's wedding toast. Archbold had initially declined the gig.

"I don't do weddings," Archbold recalled telling Wilde. "It's the bride's day to shine."

But Wilde begged, and he relented. During the appearance, Wilde told Archbold about her interest in history and her desire to dress up.

Archbold, 66, later called her in search of a last-minute Ross. "Think you can put together a costume?" he asked.

She did, joining Archbold on a few outings, including the Thanksgiving parade. That turned into dating.

Wilde, a pharmacist, is widowed. Archbold's first wife died, and he is long divorced from his second.

No wedding date is set, but Sept. 1 looks serendipitous. It's not only the anniversary of their first meeting, but also the date in 1730 that Franklin and Deborah Read were married.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,

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