James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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Answers to the July 4th Trivia Quiz

by James M. Lindsay
July 4, 2013

People gather to watch the Independence Day fireworks display in Independence, Iowa (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters). People gather to watch the Independence Day fireworks display in Independence, Iowa (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters).

Here are the answers for the third annual TWE July 4th trivia quiz. If you got all the questions right without Googling for the answers, a tip of the TWE cap to you. However well you did, take some time today to read the Declaration of Independence. Its message is timeless. This is a great country. Enjoy the holiday.

1) July 4, 1776 is the day that the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. But no one actually signed the document that day. When did most members of the Continental Congress actually sign the declaration?

Answer: c) August 2, 1776.  The first printed version of the declaration to appear, the so-called Dunlap Broadside, featured only the name of John Hancock, the president of the Second Continental Congress, and even then only in type. The signatures we associate today with the Declaration of Independence came about when Hancock and many of his colleagues signed the so-called engrossed copy of the Declaration on August 2, 1776.

2) Who was the oldest person to sign the Declaration of Independence?

Answer: c) Benjamin Franklin was seventy when he signed the Declaration of Independence.

3) Who was the youngest person to sign the Declaration of Independence?

Answer: d) Edward Rutledge, a South Carolina lawyer, signed the declaration at just twenty-six. He went on to fight in the Revolution and serve in the South Carolina legislature. He eventually became governor of the Palmetto state.

4) Who was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence to die?

Answer: d) John Morton, a delegate from Pennsylvania, fell ill and died in April 1777, less than a year after he signed the Declaration of Independence. He was fifty-three when he died.

5) Who was the last signer of the Declaration of Independence to die?

Answer: b) Charles Carroll of Carrollton. The delegate from Maryland lived until 1832, more than half a century after he signed the declaration. He was ninety-five when he died. Carroll holds another distinction among the Declaration’s signers: he was the only one who was a Catholic. Carroll served in the Maryland Senate until 1800. Tired of politics, he turned toward business and invested in several banks and other companies. He was a member of the first board of directors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, better known to anyone who has ever played Monopoly as the B&O Railroad.

6) Which colony had the most delegates sign the declaration?

Answer: a) Pennsylvania. Nine of the fifty-six men to sign the Declaration of Independence were from Pennsylvania.

7) Which American city refused to celebrate the Fourth of July from 1863 to 1945?

Answer: a) Vicksburg, Mississippi. On July 4, 1863, Confederate General John C. Pemberton surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Vicksburg. The city was humiliated, and as a result, did not celebrate Independence Day again until 1945. This year’s Fourth of July festivities in Vicksburg will coincide with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Pemberton’s surrender.

8) Which state emancipated its slaves on July 4, 1827?

Answer: d) New York. The gradual process of emancipation in New York State had begun in 1799 and culminated in the complete emancipation of slaves on July 4, 1827.  Festivities celebrating the milestone, including a parade of 4,000 free black residents of New York City, were postponed until July 5 due to threats of violence.

9) The first face on Mount Rushmore was unveiled to the public on July 4, 1930. Which president’s face was it?

Answer: a) George Washington. The four faces on Mount Rushmore were completed in the order that the men were president.

10) Which country claims the largest Fourth of July celebration outside of the United States?

Answer: c) Denmark. In 1912, a group of Danish Americans started the tradition of celebrating the Fourth of July in Rebild National Park.  The event now draws thousands of people each year.

11) What country besides the United States gained its independence on July 4?

Answer: c) The Philippines. The Philippines celebrates its Independence Day on June 12. That is the date that the country briefly won its independence from Spain in 1898. But the United States, which had ousted Spain from the Philippines in the Spanish-American War, almost immediately made the Philippines an American colony and put down a Filipino insurgency. (My colleague Max Boot’s wonderful book, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, ably details the often brutal means that U.S. forces used to pacify the country.)  In 1934, the U.S. Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which called for granting the Philippines its independence by 1946. Despite the Japanese invasion and subsequent occupation of the Philippines in 1941, the Philippines won its independence for good on July 4, 1946.

12) How many pitchers in Major League Baseball history have thrown a no-hitter on the Fourth of July?

Answer: d) 3. Most recently, Dave Righetti of the New York Yankees threw a no hitter at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1983 to defeat the Boston Red Sox 4-0. He finished the two hour and thirty-three minute game by striking out Red Sox third baseman and future hall-of-famer Wade Boggs in front of 41,000 people. George Mullin of the Detroit Tigers threw a no-hitter on July 4, 1912, and Hooks Wiltse of the New York Giants did it in 1908.

13) Roughly how many hot dogs are consumed every year on the Fourth of July?

Answer: c) 150 million (according to estimates from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council). This is enough hot dogs to reach across the United States from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles five times. July is also National Hot Dog Month.

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