We've got a special Independence Day test, so take our news quiz to see what you know about America's birthday.
Here are some random but real hints: As usual, government bureaucracy took forever; and thus began the tradition of drinking with guns; what goes around comes around; and as usual, government bureaucracy took a bit of time. Answers are at the bottom of the quiz.
1. What is the July 4 celebration on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol called?
a. The Congressional Celebration of Independence
b. The President's Concert
c. A Capitol Fourth
2. What was the name of the country from which the American colonies declared independence?
a. The Kingdom of Great Britain
b. The United Kingdom
d. The Empire of Britain and Scotland and Lower Wales
3. What happened in 1870?
a. England finally signed the long-delayed peace treaty that formally ended the war nearly 100 years later
b. President Ulysses S. Grant forbade the celebration of Independence Day in former confederate states that had not yet been readmitted into the Union
c. Congress made July 4 a federal holiday
d. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was first played at a July 4 celebration in Dallas, Texas
4. Which two signers of the Declaration of Independence both died on July 4, 1826?
a. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
b. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson
c. George Washington and Andrew Jackson
d. John Hancock and Johnny Tremain
5. How did General George Washington mark July 4, 1778?
a. He officiated at a mass wedding
b. He didn't; he told his friend John Adams that "kings have holidays, not free peoples"
c. He retired to Mount Vernon and made wine
d. He gave his troops a double ration of rum and an artillery salute
6. Who was the British monarch at the time when the American colonies declared independence?
a. George III
b. Elizabeth I
c. Frederick the Great
d. Edward II
7. What happened on July 4, 1946?
a. President Truman signed a law requiring the playing of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture before any July 4 fireworks display
b. The Philippines gained independence from the United States
c. Private possession of fireworks was made illegal in all 50 states, a ban that lasted for nearly four decades
d. The U.S. celebrated "Independence from Fascism" day
8. Like wars elsewhere, the American revolutionaries received outside help. Which of the following countries supported the colonists?
a. France, Spain, Netherlands, and the southern Indian kingdom of Mysore
b. France, Finland, and Tsarist Russia
c. Mexico, China, and Saudi Arabia
d. Scotland, Prussia, and Poland
9. Which U.S. president was born on the Fourth of July?
a. Calvin Coolidge
b. Bill Clinton
c. Dwight D. Eisenhower
d. Teddy Roosevelt
10. Who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence?
a. Benjamin Franklin
b. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
c. Thomas Jefferson
d. Thomas Hobbes
BONUS. Why might you want to have fireworks on August 2 instead of July 4?
a. The colonies' independence was recognized by the empire on August 2
b. The Declaration of Independence did not go into effect until August 2, 1776
c. The colonists won their first battle against the Red Coats on August 2, 1777
d. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson both wanted the holiday moved to August 2 because they thought "the summer heat of July depresseth the patriotic spirit so"
Want the live news quiz experience? Join us Monday, July 14 in San Francisco for our next live Week to Week political roundtable with a news quiz and a social hour at The Commonwealth Club. Panelists include Debra J. Saunders.
ANSWERS: 1) c. 2) a. 3) c. 4) a. 5) d. 6) a. 7) b. 8) a. 9) a. 10) c. BONUS) b.
Explanations of the hints: As usual, government bureaucracy took forever: the government didn't get around to making it a federal holiday for nearly a century; and thus began the tradition of drinking with guns: Washington doled out the booze and fired the guns; what goes around comes around: the Philippines, which the U.S. took over as part of President McKinley's attempt to build an overseas empire, finally attained its freedom; and as usual, government bureaucracy took a bit of time: though the Declaration was adopted on July 4, it didn't go into effect for about a month.