John who? John Hancock. Haven't you heard of him?
John Hancock Observatory is actually named after a really famous guy in American history…
- John Hancock was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on January 23, 1737.
- As a merchant, he smuggled an estimated 1.5 million gallons of molasses a year into America rather than pay English import duties.
- In January 1776, he was appointed commander in chief of the Massachusetts militia.
- When the British seized his ship, the 'Liberty', and used it to chase smugglers, merchants in Newport sent a mob to burn it to the waterline.
- He was elected the 3rd president of the Continental Congress in 1775.
- 'John Hancock' has been slang for 'signature' since he scribbled a big fancy signature on the Declaration of Independence (which was adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776).
- In July 1778, he led 6,000 of his militia in a failed attack on the British at Newport, Rhode Island.
- Two years later he became the 1st Governor of Massachusetts.
- John Hancock died on October 8, 1793, aged 56. You can find his tombstone in Granary Burying Ground in Boston.
- A number of states have named a Hancock County after him. They are: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. There's also the town of Hancock, Massachusetts and the city of Hancock, Michigan.
- Several USS vessels have also bared his name, including an aircraft carrier and destroyer.
Why not quiz your teacher on John Hancock? When they give you the wrong answer you can poke your tongue out at them and yell, 'I'm smarter than you, I'm smarter than you!'