On this day, July 26, 1775, Benjamin Franklin became the first postmaster general of the United States. Before the Revolution he served in that position under the British Crown. Franklin also established the first volunteer fire department, a circulating public library and the lighting of city streets. He helped found the University of Pennsylvania, a hospital, an insurance company, a city police force, a night watch and the first militia. A printer, scientist, philosopher and statesmen, Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1787: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."