Grateful American® Foundation

Who was elected president of the Continental Congress today in 1775?

May 24th

GA john_hancock_signature_civicsMay 24, 1775 – John Hancock was unanimously elected president of the second Continental Congress today.

Known for his large signature on the Declaration of Independence, Hancock was given the honor of signing first on July 4, 1776 because of his position as president. His signature is now synonymous with signing an official document.

A merchant, smuggler, statesman, prominent patriot, and a protégé of Samuel Adams — Hancock was the first and third governor of Massachusetts. It was a position he held until his death on Oct. 8, 1793. He used his influence to ensure that Massachusetts ratified the Constitution in 1788.

Did you know: Before the American Revolution, Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the 13 Colonies. He inherited a profitable mercantile business from his uncle, who was also a prominent smuggler. Hancock became very popular — especially after British officials seized his sloop Liberty,  in 1768 and charged him with smuggling; the charges were eventually dropped.

Words of Wisdom

The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.

— John Hancock (January 23, 1737 – October 8, 1793) was an American merchant, smuggler, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence, so much so that the term "John Hancock" has become, in the United States, a synonym for a signature.

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