National Handwriting day

John Hancock's signature, as captured from the US Declaration of Independence

Ever heard the phrase “we just need your John Hancock” in reference to signing a contract or form? This idiom refers to one of the US’s founding fathers, and his noticeably bold signature on the Declaration of Independence.

Hancock’s signature towers over the names of others present at the signing of the US Declaration of Independence

Born on January 23, 1737, Hancock’s birthday was given a new purpose in 1977, when it was declared National Handwriting Day. The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) reminds us that “handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.”

The WIMA also has recommendations of how we can celebrate National Handwriting Day:

  • Write a note. A quick handwritten note can make huge impact on someone’s day, from a note in your child’s lunchbox to a love note to a sweetheart.
  • Pen a poem. Not everyone is Shakespeare, but poetry is a great way to bring out your innermost thoughts about something you are passionate about.
  • Jot in your journal. Writing down your deepest thoughts in a private journal can help work through things you with which you may be struggling.
  • Sign your name. Channel your inner John Hancock and practice your signature, there is still a place today to sign on the dotted line.

And of course our favorite:

  • Compose a letter. The days of writing a letter on paper and sending it in the mail are not gone, reach out to someone you haven’t communicated with in a while by writing them a letter. Everyone loves getting mail!

So sharpen your pencils, refill your ink wells, and pull out your stationary. Everyone can take advantage of a little practice, whatever form of your LetterMo letters, be they typed, handwritten, or pictorial.

A child’s first poem, an ode to spring.

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