On this day in 1755, John Marshall was born in a log cabin on the frontier of Virginia. When he was born, there was no such thing as a United States of America (the colonies declared independence when he was 21 years old), nor of course a Supreme Court of the United States of America (it was created by Congress when he was 34 years old)! Marshall was homeschooled until age 14, when he was sent to a boarding school about a hundred miles away. He grew up to be a soldier in the Revolutionary War, a lawyer, a politician, and the author of a famous 5-volume biography of George Washington. Finally, at age 46, Marshall was appointed the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He served until his death at age 80.
To learn more about the Supreme Court, try Congress for Kids, Ben's Guide, or Oyez's virtual tour. Oyez has a page on John Marshall, too.
What's with all the Johns?
I noticed that the first Chief Justice was John Jay, the second was John Rutledge, and the fourth, of course, was John Marshall. (Thank goodness, the third Chief Justice was named Oliver Ellsworth.) John Marshall was appointed to the court by President John Adams. Our current Chief Justice is John G. Roberts!
John is currently the second most common boy's name in the U.S., after James. Wikipedia claims that one-twenty-fifth of all Americans is named John!!! The historical data I found states that John was THE most common boy's name in the English-speaking world until the mid 1920s. Jonathan and Jon are similar sounding names that come from a different Hebrew name. Johnny and Jack are common nicknames for John—but there are many others as well.
All these names are the equivalent (or translation) of John in other languages. Match the name to the language:
3. Johan or Johannes
LANGUAGES: French, German, Irish, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Scottish, Spanish,
ANSWERS: 1.Spanish – 2.Scottish – 3.Norwegian (or German) – 4.Lithuanian – 5.French – 6.German – 7.Polish – 8.Irish
Find out how popular your first name is the United States here. You can also check out how common your last name is.
How Many of Me is another name statistic site that allows you to find people who share your first name AND your last name! Again, it's just for the U.S. According to the website, there are almost 45 thousand people named John Smith, 976 people named James Bond, and 103 people named Harry Potter. There's only one of me, although my sister and brother have name-alikes (38 people with my brother's name, and 50 people with my sister's name!).