WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- January 23rd, 2016 marks the 39th anniversary of National Handwriting Day. Established in 1977 on the birthday of perhaps one of America's most celebrated scribes, John Hancock known for his bold signature on the Declaration of Independence – National Handwriting Day was created to acknowledge the history and influence of penmanship. The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) sponsors National Handwriting Day offering insight and inspiration to honor the writing holiday.The earliest forms of writing date back approximately 5,000 years ago. Throughout history, written communication has played a central role in the dissemination of culture and concepts. The art of handwriting is one of the few ways individuals can uniquely express themselves. Handwriting adds intimacy to a letter and reveals details about the writer's personality. Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.
Handwriting Makes Us Smarter!
Research has shown that improved handwriting skills have benefits for cognitive development, motor skills and can lead to improved writing skills and comprehension . The mission of National Handwriting Day is to share the importance and power of handwriting. WIMA suggests honoring National Handwriting Day in any of the following ways:
- Write a letter. Whether it's to someone near or far, show someone you care by taking the time to write them a handwritten letter.
- Read a book. It may not be writing, but it shows appreciation of writing. Some of today's most noted authors prefer pen and paper to create their novels including J.K. Rowling, who drafted her famous Harry Potter series on napkins.
- Practice your "John Hancock." A personalized signature truly represents your identity.
- Start a diary or journal. University of Texas at Austin psychologist James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells and reduces stress.
- Write a story, poem or screenplay. Rekindle that creative feeling by writing down your bright ideas. Several celebrated works start out as a mere idea. Once you write it down, it brings it to life.
"Though computers and e-mail play an important role in our lives, nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through the handwritten word," says David H. Baker, WIMA's Executive Director.
 Hanover Research (2012) The Importance of Teaching Handwriting in the 21st Century Washington, DC
SOURCE Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association