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Original Printing of the Join, or Die Snake – May 9, 1754 Pennsylvania Gazette
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 9 of May, repeating indefinitely
The Join, or Die. snake is a political cartoon attributed to Benjamin Franklin. The original publication by the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754, is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by an American colonist in Colonial America. It is a woodcut showing a snake cut into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initials of one of the American colonies or regions. New England was represented as one segment, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. Delaware was not listed separately as it was part of Pennsylvania. Georgia, however, was omitted completely. Thus, it has eight segments of a snake rather than the traditional 13 colonies. The poster focused solely on the colonies that would go on to make up the present-day United States, due to their shared identities as Americans. The cartoon appeared along with Franklin’s editorial about the “disunited state” of the colonies and helped make his point about the importance of colonial unity. It later became a symbol of colonial freedom during the American Revolutionary War.