It's been called "the first viral mass communications event in American history." It was on January 10, 1776 that Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense, laying out his argument for American independence from British rule. I don't know that they used the term "selling like hotcakes" back then, but it did. 120,000 copies sold in the first three months, and by the end of the revolution, one in every five Americans had a copy. Click HERE to read Common Sense.