The name John Hancock has become synonymous with one’s signature. He was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence and legend has it that he purposely made his signature large and legible, so that King George III would be sure to read it clearly.
Born on January 23, 1737 in Braintree (now Quincy), Province of Massachusetts Bay he was one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies; thanks to an inheritance from his successful mercantile uncle.
Before his death on October 8, 1793, he was the 1st and 3rd Governor of Massachusetts.
One of the signers of The Declaration of Independence and an organizer of the Boston Tea Party, it is clear that Samuel Adams was a staunch opponent of Great Britain. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on September 27, 1722 and President John Adams was his second cousin.
He was a graduate of Harvard and went on to become a U.S. Governor, Statesman before his death on October 2, 1803.
On a borrowed horse Revere set out as messenger on his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington.
Texas was once a Mexican state, when a push for independence from within became strong; a desire to be free from the rule of the Mexican government. Colonel William Travis was seen as a vital leader of this uprising.
The Texas revolution began in 1835 and in February of 1836 Travis was appointed as a lieutenant colonel of the San Antonio troops.
It was on February 23, that a surprise arrival of the Mexican army under General Santa Ana sent the Texas troops retreating into the old Spanish mission, the Alamo. It was there that they sought refuge from the 5,000 soldiers of the Mexican army. The Alamo defenders were 186 small.
Knowing they were seriously outnumbered, Travis sent word for help, in more than one message, using couriers. One message became particularly famous addressed to “The People of Texas and All Americans in the World” and signed “Victory or Death.”
On March 6, death came for the defenders, including Travis, who were killed when the Mexican troops stormed the Alamo. The defenders however did not die in vain. The battle cry “Remember the Alamo” led the remaining Texas revolutionaries to eventual victory and by April they had won their independence.
As an added note to my post on the Alamo, my friend and historian, William Welge, who lived in San Antonio, added these interesting facts:
There were exactly 186 defenders of the Alamo along with several dozen women and children. The women and children were spared by General Santa Ana. The Alamo was built in 1718 when San Antonio was first founded. The mission grounds were much larger than what one sees today.
The Smiley Face symbol’s origin was in 1963. It was created by graphic artist Harvey Ross Ball in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Charles Ball Founder of Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation
25 December is made the official birthday of Jesus
The word Christmas is first used (previously it was called Yule). However Christmas is just one of many festivals and is not particularly important.
In Central Europe Christmas trees are decorated with candles, wax ornaments and gingerbread. In England people eat mince pies at Christmas. (Originally they actually were made with mince).
In Europe Christmas trees are decorated with tinsel
New Years Day is moved from 25 March to 1 January
Christmas trees are first recorded in England
The first Christmas card is designed by John Horsley
Christmas crackers are made for the first time by a confectioner named Tom Smith
Victoria and Albert are shown in a picture in the Illustrated London New with a Christmas tree. As a result Christmas trees become common in England
The ‘bang’ is added to Christmas crackers
Cartoonist Thomas Nast creates our modern image of Santa Claus
Christmas Day is made a bank holiday
Christmas tree lights are invented
Late 19th Century Christmas cake was originally eaten on 6 January but at this time people began to eat it at Christmas