National Handwriting Day 2023: History, Significance, And More

January 23rd is observed as National Handwriting Day on the birthday of John Hancock, the first man to sign the Declaration of Independence. Find out about History, Significance, And More here!
National Handwriting Day 2023: History, Significance, And More
National Handwriting Day 2023: History, Significance, And More

In this age of smartphones and voice-to-text applications, it is often arbitrary for people to appreciate the tactile pleasures of the old pen and paper.

Though we often forget that handwriting is an essential skill to sharpen your ever-hungry brain. Not only that but writing is a practice often advised by clinical psychologists and therapists as it can help slow the frenetic pace of one's thoughts which can cause anxiety.

Writing can help you remember things hence it is often advised to make a to-do- list or a morning task list rather than relying on your brain which is made for processing and analyzing aspects. 

January 23rd is observed as National Handwriting Day on the birthday of John Hancock, the first man to sign the Declaration of Independence. His autograph became so popular that  ‘John Hancock’ is commonly used as another term for ‘signature.’

Practicing your handwriting is essential now more than ever, especially in a world where it is so rarely used as a form of communication. 

With computer keyboards as the new writing method, practicing the skill of handwriting is even more essential now. National Handwriting Day encourages you to put pen to paper, show off your cursive skills and appreciate the art of handwriting. 


 National Handwriting Day: History

  • Invented in 1977 National Handwriting Day was established by The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) when educators began to feel that the art of handwriting was getting lost as a skill. 
  • It is celebrated on The twenty-third of January as John Hancock’s birthday. 
  •  Best known for having the first and most prominent signature Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence.
  • Since then signatures are often referred to as a “John Hancock”. 
  • In 1776  Hancock's signature served to validate the final version of the document.
  • Hancock was the president of the Continental Congress.
  • The art of handwriting was invented in 3400 BC in Mesopotamia according to historians. They would write cuneiform on a clay tablet.
  •  The art of writing spread to Egypt, then Rome, and then to the rest of Europe.
  •  After spreading throughout Europe, good writing skills became a symbol of status, since royal families were the only ones taught to write properly. 
  • During the 1700s world’s first handwriting and penmanship schools were formed to train scribes.

National Handwriting Day: Significance 

  • Writing is a major skill that elevates human civilization and allows us to communicate and trade on a large scale. 
  • Writing not only separates prehistory from history it allows us to record our thoughts and feelings. 
  • More crucially, it helped in the development of early societies, by providing us with a medium to record transactions, count items, and pass on information to future users. 
  • While writing systems differ in their construction, some of them depend on pictorial symbolism.
  • Some combine characters to form new meanings, and some use grammatical structures to create full sentences and depth of meaning. 
  • Alphabet-based writing systems can use symbols to represent consonants, vowels, or syllable sounds. 
  •  Semantic-phonetic writing systems have symbols that represent both sounds and meanings.


Handwriting Styles

While there are many styles of handwriting, there are three major categories.  

  • cursive: cursive is a fancier signature-style font
  • print writing: Print is standard penmanship
  • D’Nealian: D’Nealian handwriting is a common way to teach cursive. 

Graphology: the Study of Handwriting 

  •  The analysis of handwriting known as Graphology, it attempts to determine someone's personality traits through their handwriting. 
  •  It is generally considered a pseudoscience or scientifically questionable practice.





3400—3100 B.C.


The oldest written records, clay tablets carved with cuneiform symbols, appear in ancient Sumeria.

8th century B.C.


The Greeks adoptedthe Phoenician alphabet, leading to the development of Greek and later Latin lettering.



Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press, revolutionizing print technology.



The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association first starts promoting January 23 as National Handwriting Day, offering "a chance to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting."






January 23



January 23



January 23



January 23



January 23


In a generation of computers and electronics, it is essential not to forget the importance of handwriting whether you are an adult or a child, this day gives you the chance to practice your handwriting skills. 

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Today In History, 23 January: What Happened On This Day

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