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Hey, Rolling Stone Magazine: John Hancock Didn’t Sign The Constitution

This is Gary's fucking fault, isn't it?

julia louis dreyfus

The Internet is abuzz with the latest cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, which features Veep‘s Julia Louis Dreyfus naked with a tattoo of the Constitution’s preamble across her back. Here’s the thing — see how it ends with John Hancock’s signature across her lower back? Yeah, that’s not on the Constitution, guys.

In case you can’t quite think back to your 11th grade U.S. History and Government class, we’ll break it down for you: the Constitution is series of articles outlining the laws of the United States of America, which was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention back in 1787. Hancock was not one of those signatures. Heck, he wasn’t even one of the delegates. He wasn’t even there in Philadelphia. He stayed home because he was sick. No, seriously. That was the reason.

The iconic swirly signature that we know and love is actually on the Declaration of Independence, which was the document announcing the secession of the 13 original colonies from Great Britain. That was signed by Hancock in July of 1776 — and only Hancock, at first. Nobody else really signed the “official” version of until about August 1776, and even then, they typically did it one at a time. Yup, contrary to legend and literally every painting you’ve ever seen, there wasn’t actually a big room full of old white guys that were super excited to commit treason together.

Interestingly, Hancock was not the only famous “founding father” to skip out on signing the Constitution. Other notable names include  Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. The latter two would-be-future presidents were both abroad on diplomatic business, while Henry and Adams declined to participate.

We’re not quite sure whether or not this blunder is intentional on Rolling Stone’s part — after all, it’s totally something that would happen to Vice President Selina Meyers. You know, if she were going to expose herself to all of America on the cover of Rolling Stone, which she probably wouldn’t.

(via JGreenDC on Twitter, Constitution Daily, and Biography; image via Rolling Stone)

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