National Handwriting Day

John Hancock's famous signature on the Declaration of IndependenceOrigins
National Handwriting Day was created in 1977 to remind people that typing is not everything, and to emphasize the importance and elegance of the handwritten word. January 23 was the chosen date because it was the birthday of John Hancock, the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence. His signature is famous, and it would mean a lot less if it had been typed. According to Robert B. Waller Jr. (who is THAT?!), "Though computers and e-mail play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word." (And I must admit that that is rather true.)

Actual Date
January 23

The Chinese calligraphy for "long life"Other Interesting Tid-Bits
  • Ever wonder why the stories in history books become more and more boring as time goes on? This is because, when history was first "recorded," it was passed on by the mouth, so people changed the stories to make them more exciting as they passed them on through generations. When writing was developed, these stories did not change as much, because written accounts were more accurate and reliable than oral stories.
  • The first alphabet had over 300 symbols in it!
  • Sumerians were the first to invent the "right-to-left, bottom-to-top" system of writing.
  • The Romans used a 23-letter alphabet.
  • The first Bibles and other history books in the Eastern and Western Europe "empires" had to be copied by monks in monasteries by hand, because printing presses had not been invented yet. If they made even ONE MISTAKE, they had to throw out the entire thing and start all over again. If you could write 25 books in a lifetime, this was considered a great feat to accomplish!
  • The first type press was invented in the mid-1400s.
  • The Chinese had contests to see who could write the best caligraphy. Caligraphy was not only a form of writing, it was an art form, and highly valued among the Chinese.


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