Monday is Independence Day in the USA.
Happy Birthday to the red, white and blue!
While many will be celebrating with fireworks, grilling and festivities, does everyone know the history behind the holiday?
For instance, did you know that at the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, there was no official flag for the new country? It was not until June 14, 1777 that the first 13 star flag was developed, a day now celebrated as Flag Day.
A well-known, and now, televised tradtion is the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championship. Did you know that, according to Nathan's legend, the event started in 1916 when four immigrants used the contest to settle a fight over who was the most patriotic?
We have compiled a quiz to test your knowledge of the history and traditions of the Fourth of July. Take the quiz, and then leave us a comment telling us how you did.
Many famous founding fathers were a part of the Continental Congress that drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence. Who was the oldest of the signers?
- Josiah Bartlett
- Samuel Adams
- Benjamin Franklin
- Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Franklin - Franklin, at age 70, was the oldest of the signers of the Declaration. Edward Rutledge, representing South Carolina, was the youngest at age 26.
Everyone remembers the large scrawling signature of John Hancock on the Declaration. Which one of these Founding Fathers did not even sign the document?
- John Adams
- George Washington
- Thomas Jefferson
- Benjamin Harrison
George Washington - America's first president was not a member of the Continental Congress. Hancock had the draft sent to General Washington, who had it read to his troops on July 9.
While July 4, 1776 was the day the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Constitution was not adopted for another 11 years. On what day do historians say that document was created?
- June 22, 1787
- July 10, 1787
- August 1, 1787
- September 17, 1787
September 17, 1787 – In February of 1787, the Congress of the Confederation voted to revise the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution was finally fully ratified May 29, 1790. George Washington did sign this time.
July 4 was not always a great day for American historical figures. What two founding fathers both died on July 4, 1826?
- Ben Franklin & John Hancock
- George Washington & Samuel Adams
- John Adams & Thomas Jefferson
- James Madison & Alexander Hamilton
John Adams & Thomas Jefferson – These political rivals turned great friends both died on the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. Some historians claim Adams last words to be, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” even though he did not know Jefferson had passed just a few hours prior.
The Statue of Liberty is recognized the world over as a symbol of America’s freedom & democracy. What country gave the statue as a gift to celebrate America’s Centennial?
France – The statue is said to represent the friendship between the countries established during the Revolutionary War. The official name of the statue is actually “Liberty Enlightening the World.”
The Fourth of July tends to inspire great feelings of patriotism. Independence Day has inspired how many US towns to include “Independence” in their names?
11 – The most populace Independence is Independence, Missouri. There are 30 towns with “Liberty” in their name, five using “Freedom” and only one with “Patriot” as a name – Patriot, Indiana.
Independence Day has had a big tie to Hollywood in recent years. What is the highest grossing Independence Day release of all time?
- Transformers (2007)
- Independence Day (1996)
- Spider-Man 2 (2004)
- Superman Returns (2006)
Spider-Man 2 – This web-spinning sequel grossed over $88 million in its opening weekend, over $17 million more than #2 on the list, Transformers.
Speaking of Independence Day in entertainment, which of the following is NOT a piece of pop culture named Independence Day?
- A film starring David Keith
- A song by Martina McBride
- A song by Bruce Springsteen
- An episode of the TV series M*A*S*H
An episode of M*A*S*H – The film was released in 1983, and another in 1996, McBride’s song is from 1993’s “The Way That I Am” and Springsteen’s is from 1980’s “The River.” While M*A*S*H did not air an episode called “Independence Day,” the Cosby Show did.
Let’s tie pop culture back to history. A fictional decedant of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was the President of the United States in what television series?
- Commander in Chief
- The West Wing
- Hail to the Chief
The West Wing – Martin Sheen portrayed President Josiah Bartlett, the fictional decedant of real life signatory Josiah Bartlett, a delegate to the Continental Congress from New Hampshire.
Hope you did well on the quiz. Have a happy & safe Fourth of July1
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