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July 4 quiz: See how much you know

Ohanian Comment: So far, I'm the only one commenting at the Washington Post site who thinks this quiz is absolutely bizarre.

Ohmygod, of course. Why didn't I realize this: it is critical to the survival of democracy, not to mention our place in the Global Economy, that students can name the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence. By all means, sign up Stanley P. Satire to write the history Common Core. Oops! That's Stanley P. Santire. This piffle only reads like a satire of what Achieve and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have in mind.

By Valerie Strauss

I wrote and published a quiz for Memorial Day in May that a reader, Houston attorney Stanley P. Santire, didnât much like.

Santire sent me an e-mail saying that the questions didnât cover important historical issues. (You can look at that quiz by clicking here and see for yourself.)

So I asked him to try his hand at a July 4 quiz, which you will find
(U.S. National Archives) below, along with answers and extra information. He said the exercise helped him understand "the challenge that journalists frequently face in developing what on the surface appears much easier."

The July 4 Quiz by Stanley P. Santire

1. The committee formed to draft the Declaration of Independence was headed by:

a) George Washington

b) Thomas Jefferson

c) James Madison

2. Independence Day was first celebrated in what city?

a) Boston

b) Washington D.C.

c) Philadelphia

3. On what day in 1776 did the Continental Congress vote for independence?

a) July 2

b) July 4

c) July 6

4. In what year did the U.S. Congress declare the Fourth of July a national holiday?

a) 1776

b) 1865

c) 1941

5. How many men who had served as U.S. president died on the Fourth of July?

a) 1

b) 2

c) 3

6. Which of these major battle victories occurred on July 4?

a) British surrendered to Washington at Saratoga

b) Jackson defeated the British near New Orleans

c) Grant broke Confederate resistance at Vicksburg

7. Who was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence?

a) George Washington

b) Thomas Jefferson

c) John Hancock

8. How many times does the term âUnited Statesâ appear in the Declaration of Independence?

a) 0

b) 1

c) 2

9. What slave owner objected to leaving out of the Declaration of Independence a criticism of British slave trade?

a) George Washington

b) Thomas Jefferson

c) Edward Rutledge

10. Who was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence?

a) Benjamin Franklin

b) John Adams

c) Steven Hopkins

And one more question, from me:

11. What are the first words of the Declaration of Independence?

a) âWe hold these truths to be self-evident...â

b) âWhen in the Course of human events...â

c) âGovernments are instituted among Men...â


1) b. Jefferson

2) c. Philadelphia. Thatâs where the Second Continental Congress met and the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

3) a. July 2. On July 4, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

4) c. 1941

5) c. 3. A lot of people know that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826, but it is less well known that James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

6) c. Grant broke Confederate resistance at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863.

7) c. John Hancock signed first, as the president of the Continental Congress

8) a. 0 times. There are two mentions of the âunited States of America.â At the beginning the declaration says: âThe unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,â Near the end it says: âWe, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America.â But nowhere does it say the âUnited States of America.â

9) b. Jefferson

10) a. Franklin. He was 70 at the time.

11) b. âWhen in the Course of human events...â

Follow The Answer Sheet every day by bookmarking www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet .

— Valerie Strauss and Stanley P. Santire
Washington Post Answer Sheet





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