Here’s a quiz to test just how much you know about July 4 history:

1. On what day did the Second Continental Congress vote in favor of independence from Britain?

a) July 1, 1776

b) July 2, 1776

c) July 3, 1776

d) July 4, 1776

2) Thomas Jefferson was the main author of the Declaration of Independence. To whom did he give the first draft for revisions?

a) Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock

b) Robert Sherman and John Adams

c) John Adams and Benjamin Franklin

d) Robert Sherman and John Hancock

3) True or False. As the movie “National Treasure” suggests, there is something written on the back of the original Declaration of Independence.

4) How many copies of the declaration were made on July 4, 1776?

a) 2

b) 12

c) 24

d) 26

5) What special meaning do the colors red, white and blue on the American flag hold?

a) blood, sweat and tears

b) purity, hardiness, vigilance

c) innocence, valor, justice

d) none

6) The Declaration of Independence famously begins with these words: “When in the course of human events.” With what words does the text end?

a) “with liberty and justice for all.”

b) “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

c) “all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.”

d) “and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states.”

7) The last battle of the Revolutionary War was...?

a) Battle of Cuddalore, 1783

b) Battle of Cape Spartel, 1782

c) Battle of Blue Licks, 1782

d) Second Battle of Ushant, 1781

8) When did Britain recognize America as a free country?

a) 1781

b) 1782

c) 1783

d) 1784

9) Who was the president of the Second Continental Congress, which declared independence and approved the Declaration?

a) George Washington

b) John Adams

c) John Hancock

d) Thomas Jefferson

10) What baseball player threw a No Hitter on July 4, 1983?

a) Baltimore Orioles’ Dennis Martinez

b) New York Yankees’ Dave Righetti

c) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela

d) Philadelphia Phillies’ John Denny

11) When did July 4 become a federal holiday?

a) 1777

b) 1778

c) 1870

d) 1941

12) Which two presidents died on July 4, 1826?

a) Jefferson and Adams

b) Washington and Jefferson

c) Adams and Monroe

d) Adams and Jefferson


1) b. July 2, 1776

2) c. John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. The Second Continental Congress initially appointed five people — Franklin, Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston and Thomas Jefferson — to draft a declaration and Jefferson wrote the first draft. Adams and Franklin made initial revisions and more revisions were later made.

3) True. According to the National Archives, where the original declaration is housed, the writing on the back, at the bottom of the document, upside down, reads:

“Original Declaration of Independence

dated 4th July 1776”

No one knows for certain who wrote it, but it appears that it was added as a label because the large parchment document (it measures 29¾ inches by 24½ inches) was rolled up for storage.

4) d. 26. According to the National Archives, 26 copies are known to exist of what is commonly referred to as “the Dunlap broadside,” 21 owned by American institutions, two by British institutions, and three by private owners.

The Dunlap Broadside copies were printed on paper on the night of July 4,— and thus are contemporary with the original Declaration that is engrossed on parchment.

5) d. none

6). b. “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

7) a. Battle of Cuddalore, 1783

8) c. 1783

9) c. John Hancock

10) b. New York Yankees’ Dave Righetti

11) c. Congress voted to make July 4 a federal holiday in 1870. In 1941, it voted to grant a paid holiday to all federal employees.

12) a. Jefferson and Adams

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