Here are the answers to the How Much Do You Know About Independence Day? quiz from my previous post. (If you haven’t taken the quiz yet and want to, I’d suggest returning there first.) Some of these questions were tricky, others merely difficult, and a few were relatively easy, especially with True or False questions offering just two choices. The multiple choice questions seemed to give people the most trouble, based on feedback I received. Thanks for joining in, whether Baby Boomers or younger!
1. True or false: As one of the 13 original colonies, Vermont was the only one that refused to ratify the Declaration of Independence.
Answer: False. Vermont was not one of the original 13 colonies.
2. Which U.S. president was born on the Fourth of July in Plymouth Notch, Vermont?
Answer: Calvin Coolidge.
3. Name two Asian countries where you can now buy a Nathan’s Famous New York hot dog, similar to those gobbled up in the annual hot dog eating contest at New York’s Coney Island:
a. Indonesia and Japan
b. Malaysia and Afghanistan
c. China and Mongolia
d. Vietnam and India
Answer: B, Malaysia and Afghanistan
4. If you want to be the first to see the sunrise on July 4 within the continental United States, where would you head?
a. Nantucket, Massachusetts
b. West Quoddy Head, Maine
c. Mars Hill Mountain, Maine
d. None of the above.
Answer: C, Mars Hill Mountain. Extra bonus points if you got this one right, because West Quoddy Head is farther east, but because of the angle of the sun on July 4, the sun shines first on the higher-elevation Mars Mountain at that time.
5. True or False: Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776.
Answer: False. July 4 celebrates the adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration document; most members of the Second Continental Congress didn’t sign it until a month later, and word of the rebellion didn’t reach London until late August. (By the way, President John Adams believed that July 2, not July 4, would be celebrated as Independence Day, because that’s the day independence was actually declared. But because the document was dated July 4, that became Independence Day.)
6. True or False: July 4 is the second deadliest day of the year for traveling on America’s highways, trailing only New Year’s Day.
Answer: False. July 4 is the deadliest day.
7. One place in the U.S. claims it’s possible to watch fireworks set off in seven states at one time. Name the place — and can you really see seven states from there?
Answer: Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, near Chattanooga. It’s highly dubious you can actually see seven states from there, however; Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia are close at hand and North Carolina may be visible as well, but Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia are, well, highly dubious. If fireworks were shot high enough into the sky, though, you never know.
8. Three of the first five U.S. presidents died on July 4. Name the one who died near Charlottesville, Virginia. (Bonus points for naming all three of the presidents)
Answer: Thomas Jefferson, who died on July 4, 1826, just hours apart from the second U.S. president, John Adams. James Monroe, the fifth president, also died on July 4 and also had previously lived near Charlottesville, before moving to (and passing away in) New York.
9. The Declaration of Independence on view in Washington’s National Archives has an inscription on the back that reads:
a. “John Dunlap, Printer”
b. “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776”
c. “On this day henceforth we live free or die in the battle against tyranny”
d. There is no inscription on the back.
Answer: B, even though it seems too obvious.
10. Name three other countries in the world that have celebrated American Independence Day:
a. Norway, Denmark, and the Philippines
b. Sweden, France, and Brazil
c. Portugal, Spain, and Andorra
d. Liberia, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic
Answer: A, though the Philippines (once a U.S. possession) no longer does. Norway and Denmark still have annual celebrations in honor of all the Norwegians and Danes who have immigrated to America.
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