The name John Hancock is 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 term “Skid Row” derives from Seattle. Washington, where “skid roads” were the places that loggers slid their cut timber to the ports for shipment. By the 1930’s the term referred to the rundown areas of cities, characterized by bars, brothels and the like originally attracted by loggers, and began to include the presence of homeless and other extremely low income populations.
We have all heard the story about Franklin flying a kite in a thunderstorm and proving that lightening is electric and the charge it creates can be collected in a Leyden jar.
History purports that this experiment by Franklin took place on June 10, 1752, but there are those who question if Franklin actually ever said that he did the experiment and that instead it may have been more of a thought experiment than a practical test he enacted in reality.
To learn more and decide for yourself read the 2003 New Yorker book review
American Electric Did Franklin fly that kite?