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Continued: Happy birthday, John Hancock. You lived in the right era.

  • Article by: KIM ODE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 22, 2013 - 4:32 PM

“I think the whole idea of signatures is a little antiquated,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, noting that “John Hancocks” haven’t always been necessary, such as when a king’s wax seal would signal a document’s authenticity. In law today, notaries need only attest to knowing the person who signs a legal document such as an affidavit, he said, no matter how illegible that signature might be.

“You know who had one of the most illegible signatures ever?” Freeman asked. “John F. Kennedy.”

He knows because when he was a boy and his father, Orville Freeman, was U.S. agriculture secretary, the two ended up in Kennedy’s office and emerged with a signed baseball.

John Hancock would have needed a softball.


Kim Ode • 612-673-7185

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