1915 – He was born on the 2nd day of January this year in Rentiesville, Oklahoma.
1935 – He graduated from Fisk University this year.
1940 – He met and courted Aurelia Whittington at Fisk. After a correspondence and courtship that lasted 10 years, they married on June 11th this year at her parent’s home in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
1941 – He earned a doctorate in history from Harvard University.
1947 – He taught at Howard University.
1952 – His only child, John Whittington Franklin, was born August 24 of this year.
1956 – He chaired the department of history at Brooklyn College.
1982 – He served in the history department at the University of Chicago, and as its chair from 1967-70, and as the John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor, 1969-82.
1983 – He was appointed as the James B. Duke Professor of History at Duke University.
1985 – He took emeritus status. Franklin was also Professor of Legal History at the Duke University Law School from 1985-92.
1995 – He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
2006 – He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at Lafayette College’s 171st Commencement Exercises.