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National Handwriting Day

January 23

National Handwriting Day in the United States, a time for acknowledging the history and influence of penmanship. #NationalHandwritingDay Established in 1977, it’s celebrated on January 23, the birthday of John Hancock.


The American founding father often remembered for his iconic signature on the Declaration of Independence. National Handwriting Day was established by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 1977.  Their motive is to promote the consumption of pens, pencils and writing paper. With the development of typewriters and later computers, the art of handwritten letters are becoming extinct. Borrowing aspects of the Etruscan alphabet, the ancient Romans were among the first to develop a written script for transactions and correspondence. By the fifth century A.D. it included early versions of lowercase letters and sometimes flowed like modern cursive.

National Handwriting Day

Elegant handwriting emerged as a status symbol, and by the 1700s penmanship schools had begun educating generations of master scribes. During the United States’ infancy, professional penmen were responsible for copying official documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In the mid-1800s an abolitionist and bookkeeper attempted to democratize American penmanship by formulating a cursive writing system, known as the Spencerian method and taught by textbook, that many schools and businesses quickly adopted. By the turn of the century, an approach was introduced to replaced the Spencerian method in American classrooms, where students learned to form loopy characters between horizontal lines on chalkboards; its predecessor, D’Nealian script, originated in the 1970s and was designed to ease the transition from printing to cursive writing. Another handwriting style was developed for elementary-aged children, dominated textbooks for much of the 20th century. As typewriters and word processors swept the business world, schools began to eliminate penmanship classes, and by the 1980s many U.S. children received little formal training. Work on your handwriting.