Why Famous: The first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
- 1775-08-28 Statesman John Hancock (38) weds hostess Dorothy Quincy (28) in Fairfield, Connecticut
- 1768-04-09 John Hancock refuses to allow two British customs agents to go below deck of his ship, considered by some to be the first act of physical resistance to British authority in the colonies
- 1768-05-09 John Hancock pays duties on 25 pipes of wine, only one fourth of his ship's carrying capacity. British officials accuse him of unloading the rest during the night to avoid paying duties on the entire cargo.
- 1768-06-10 British customs officials seize John Hancock's ship, "The Liberty", on the suspicion that Hancock had illegally unloaded cargo without paying duties a month earlier
- 1773-11-05 John Hancock is elected as moderator at a Boston town meeting that resolves that anyone who supports the Tea Act is an "Enemy to America"
- 1774-03-05 John Hancock delivers the fourth annual Massacre Day oration, a commemoration of the Boston Massacre, and denounces the presence of British troops in Boston, enhancing Hancock's stature as a leading Patriot
- 1775-05-24 John Hancock is unanimously elected President of the Continental Congress
- 1780-10-25 John Hancock becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts
- 1785-01-29 In a surprising announcement, John Hancock resigns as Governor of Massachusetts, allegedly due to his failing health