Handwriting Experts Squabble Over John Hancock's Real Birthday, Famous Signature Celebrated This Month

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National Handwriting Week recognizes John Hancock's signature as a symbol of success, but experts squabble over his real birthdate. Is it January 23rd or January 12th? Industries such as pen, ink, paper, and forensic handwriting experts disagree.

John Hancock Signature

John Hancock was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, on January 12, 1737.

Do you know you missed John Hancock's birthday, or did you? Our best research indicates he was born on January 23rd or January 12th, depending on which website you visit.

John Hancock's name has become synonymous for the term "signature" in the United States and even worldwide. It became one of the world's most famous signatures because he was the first people to sign the Declaration of Independence of the United States from Great Britain in 1776 as the President of the Continental Congress .  His signature was also the largest on the page, and most distinctive in style.

In the early 1990's, the pen and ink industry designated January 23rd as national handwriting day. According the WIMA.org website, his birth day is January 23rd. The site states "In honor of National Handwriting Day on January 23, the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) is celebrating the importance of the written word, stressing its benefits, and encouraging you to observe the day by putting your penmanship skills to the test."

Since 1999, Bart Baggett, one of America's top handwriting experts and frequent media guest on such respected new shows as CNN's Larry King Live, NBC's Today Show, and Court TV, has used this week around January 23rd as National Handwriting Week and a reason to promote his industry. Baggett and many of his "Certified Experts" from his http://HandwritingUniversity.com school have leveraged John Hancock's handwriting and that of other American heroes as shining examples of how handwriting can give us clues to the author's character and success potential.

However as a typical sign of a small cottage industry where even the experts disagree with each other on fundamental issues, a less influential graphology group strongly disagrees. The splinter group AAHA (American Association of Handwriting Analysts) says " John Hancock was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, on January 12, 1737." AAHA is a group of graphologist who promote personality profiling through handwriting.

On the forensics side of the equation, Beth Chrisman, Director of the International School of Forensic Document Examination (http://internationalschool.us) has a less emotional response, "I honesty don't know when he was born, but the fact people stand up and take notice of handwriting, forgeries, and important documents like the Declaration of Independence is good for our school and our graduates." Chrisman has helped develop a unique curriculum which trains forensic document examiners worldwide in a 100% distance learning format... a concept never before accomplished in the handwriting forensic community.

According to one outspoken Los Angeles times writer Dennis Baron, WIMA chose January 23rd despite knowing the truth. "It turns out that John Hancock, author of the largest and most famous American signature, was born not on Jan. 23 but on Jan. 12. WIMA chose a different date on purpose, so its handwriting holiday would connect with Hancock in our minds but wouldn't interfere with all the Hancock birthday events. And despite the fact that John Hancock probably didn't sign the Declaration of Independence with a pen made by one of WIMA’s clients; we’re supposed to celebrate National Handwriting Day because WIMA is afraid that the computer, the newest writing technology, could signal the death of handwriting, the oldest writing technology. After all, after pens and pencils came along, no one wrote on clay tablets anymore, and since the PC hit it big, you don’t see a lot of typewriters around, either. The pen and pencil could be next. "

A number of faculty members of Handwriting University will be appearing on radio & TV shows nationwide promoting handwriting January 19th-25th, in observance of National Handwriting Week. For a complete list of available experts who can be interviewed see http://HandwritingExperts.com

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