On January 12 (or maybe January 23), 1737, John Hancock is born in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts.
The British government viewed the prominent patriot as an agitator, much like his friend Samuel Adams.
Hancock was president of the Second Continental Congress, so he was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Of course, he is well-known for his prominent and stylish signature on the Declaration. In fact, the name ‘John Hancock’ is synonymous with the term ‘signature.’
In addition, he was first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and he died in office in 1793.
Grateful hearts, Gracious Benefactor
Finally, here are excerpts from one of his many Proclamations for a Day of Public Thanksgiving, from November 22, 1781:
Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of Mercies, remarkably to assist and support the United States of America, in their important Struggle for Liberty against the long continued Efforts of a powerful Nation; it is the Duty of all Ranks of People to observe and thankfully acknowledge the Interpositions of his Providence in their behalf.
Through the whole of the Contest, from its first Rise to this Time, the Influence of Divine Providence may be clearly perceived in many signal Instances… .”
I do therefore, by and with the Advice of the Council, appoint, and do hereby appoint the Thirteenth Day of December next (the Day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer; that all the People may assemble on that Day, with grateful Hearts to celebrate the Praises of our gracious Benefactor; to confess our manifold Sins; to offer up our most fervent Supplications to the God of all Grace, that it may please Him to pardon our Offenses and incline our Hearts for the future to keep all his Laws…, and favor our united Exertions for the speedy Establishment of a safe, honorable, and lasting Peace; to bless all Seminaries of Learning, and cause the Knowledge of God to cover the Earth, as the Waters cover the Sea.
GOD save the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.