John Hancock and the Fourth of July

American Flags
The current 50-star flag was adopted on July 4, 1960 after Alaska, the fiftieth state was admitted to the Union.

John Hancock and the Fourth of July

We all know that the Fourth of July celebrates the actual date, when the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and ratified the Declaration of Independence.  However, contrary to popular belief the famous document was not actually signed until August 2 of the same year, when all  fifty-six delegates officially put their name on the document. However, it is believed that John Hancock placed his showy signature to the written draft on July 4, when the paper was sent to the printer. At the time, John Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies and also President of the Continental Congress. Perhaps, these impressive credentials are revealed in his expressive penmanship that so effectively embodied the revolutionary spirit of the times.

Thomas Jefferson (right), Benjamin Franklin (left), and John Adams (center) meet at Jefferson’s lodgings to review the Declaration of Independence, artwork by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930)

Hancock’s Tragedy

Despite Hancock’s groundbreaking role in forging the 13 colonies into a fledgling nation, the fervent patriot would find great tragedy in his personal life. John and his wife, Dorothy Quincy,  would give birth to only two children, John George Washington Hancock and Lydia Henchman Hancock,  neither of whom would live to be a teenager.

Betsy Ross Flag
The original flag had 13 stars and 13 stripes and is known as the Betsy Ross Flag, source Wikipedia


And don’t forget. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

San Diego Fireworks
San Diego Fireworks on the Fourth Of July, from wikipedia

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