How much do you know about the Fourth of July?

By: John Miller
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
In America, the Fourth of July is a celebration of what event?
military might
the Declaration of Independence
The Fourth of July celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which was signed July 4, 1776. In the Declaration, America thumbed its nose at Britain and declared itself a new country.
the creation of Disneyland

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The Fourth is noted by the food industry due to the huge numbers of ______ that Americans eat on this day.
fish and chips
hot dogs
The Fourth is the biggest hot dog day of the year in America. By some estimates, Americans will chomp more than 150 million hot dogs on this day alone.
ribs

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The Fourth of July is also known as _______.
Flag Day
Independence Day
The Fourth of July is also known as Independence Day. Whatever you call it, it involves copious amounts of hot dogs and explosives.
Eat My Musket Balls, Britain!

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Americans started celebrating the Fourth as early as 1777. But the government didn't officially recognize the holiday until what year?
1679
1870
It took nearly 100 years (1870) for the government to even officially recognize the celebration. That's some serious bureaucracy for you. It was even longer before it became a paid holiday.
2014

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In 1776, to celebrate the day, there were public readings across the land. What did people read?
the Declaration of Independence
Colonists marked the big day by having public readings of the Declaration of Independence. Yet it wasn't until years later that the Revolution was actually won.
a Dr. Seuss book of their choice
"War and Peace"

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In the early years of the holiday, New Englanders spent the entire day building what object?
a sand portrait of the British king
big wooden pyramids
New Englanders would spend most of the Fourth constructing large wooden pyramids. Then, that night, they'd set the whole thing on fire as a big celebratory bonfire.
a huge gallows

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The famous Liberty Bell hasn't been rung in celebration of Independence Day since 1846. Why?
because no one wants to offend the British
because it's been stolen
because it's cracked
The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. But officials stopping ringing it in 1846 due to fractures in the metal. Instead, they gently tap it 13 times.

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Which city is noted for its gigantic Independence Day fireworks display?
Stockholm
New York
Each year, the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks display is one of the biggest in the country. As many as three million people see the spectacle in person, and many times that number watch on TV.
Omaha

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Fireworks are one of the most famous ways that Americans celebrate the Fourth. How many Americans die (on average) each year due to fireworks-related injuries?
about 4
There are roughly 9,000 serious injuries across the country each year due to fireworks. On average, about 4 of those people die.
about 4,000
about 400,000

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Where was the Liberty Bell manufactured?
Britain
In an ironic turn of events, the famous Liberty Bell was made in Britain. This explains the cracked bell's shoddy workmanship.
Texas
France

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When did Congress declare Independence Day a paid federal holiday?
1811
1938
Dragging its feet as always, Congress didn't declare the Fourth of July a paid federal holiday until 1938. Now, of course, the Fourth is a holiday for nearly everyone.
2003

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True or false, were the words of the song "Yankee Doodle" meant to mock Americans in the years before the Revolution?
true
The British sang the words of "Yankee Doodle" to mock the perceived ineptitude (and stupidity) of American colonists in the years before the Revolution. Eventually, of course, the Americans took the insult as a point of pride.
false

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John Adams wanted to celebrate Independence Day on July 2. Why?
that's when they actually voted for independence
Adams famously wanted Independence Day to be on July 2. It was simply because that's the day that the Founding Fathers actually voted for independence from Britain.
July was also his birthday and how cool would that be?
he had bad childhood memories of July 4

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Former President John Adams wanted Independence Day on July 2 instead of July 4. Much later, on what day of the year did John Adams die?
on December 25
on July 2
on July 4
In a strange bit of irony, Adams died on July 4. He lived to the age of 90 and died on the 50th anniversary of the nation he helped to create. Even weirder? Thomas Jefferson died the same day.

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How did Adams respond to the fact that people celebrated the adoption of the Declaration on the 4th instead of the 2nd?
he sulked for his whole life
Adams was famously upset about the fact that the holiday wasn't being celebrated on the "right" day. So he refused to celebrate on the Fourth … for the rest of his life.
he sued the American people
he said, "Sure, fine, whatever!"

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One famous Fourth of July tradition is the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest on Coney Island. Contestants have 10 minutes to eat as many hot dogs (including buns) as possible. What's the current record?
7
73
Believe it or not, a man named Joey Chestnut downed 73 full hot dogs in 10 minutes. He performed his stomach-shattering act in 2016.
283

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On the Fourth, military bases around the country perform a "salute to the Union," in which they do what?
set a British flag on fire
fire a shot for each state of the Union
At many military bases, the "salute to the Union" is standard practice. Soldiers fire 50 shots, one for each state in the Union.
do a shot of whiskey for each of the 13 original colonies

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How many U.S. states ban the use of ALL fireworks?
3
Out of 50 states, three (clearly unpatriotic) states ban all categories of fireworks. They are New Jersey, Massachusetts and Delaware.
33
51

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On July 4, 1778, as war still raged, how did George Washington help his soldiers celebrate the Fourth of July?
they got double the rum
Washington wanted his men to celebrate the Fourth, even though the Revolution was far from over. He ordered that his men get double the normal rations of rum.
they got extra ammunition
they burned a British flag

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Bristol, Rhode Island, is home to one of the longest-running Fourth of July celebrations. The city is known for its ______.
parade
In Bristol, you can witness the longest-running Fourth of July parade. The parade has been staged each year since 1785.
hot dogs
gigantic bullet factory

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The Fourth of July is the most American of holidays. Who is the only U.S. president ever born on the Fourth of July?
Donald Trump
Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge is the only American president ever to have been born on Independence Day. In spite of his famous birthday, Coolidge's legacy gets extremely mixed reviews from historians.
Tom Cruise

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Americans will spend about $1 billion on which product during the Fourth of July?
beer
Each year, Americans blow a huge chunk of change on beer -- to the tune of around $1 billion. That's more than 22 million cases of brew.
nacho cheese
U.S. flags

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From a statistics perspective, what activity is even more dangerous than usual on the Fourth?
sword swallowing
hot dog digestion
driving
Highway statistics show that driving is more dangerous than usual on the Fourth. Why? People drive farther than average distances to celebrate … and they consume a lot of alcohol, too.

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Which famous politically-relevant person was born on the Fourth of July?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Malia Obama
Malia Obama, one of former President Obama's daughters, was born on the Fourth of July. She was born in 1998.
Jane Fonda

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Most historians now believe that the Declaration of Independence wasn't actually signed on July 4. When was it really signed?
on August 2
Most historians think the Declaration was actually signed on August 2, 1776 instead of July 4. But August 2 doesn't really have the same ring to it, does it?
on December 25
on November 26

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About one-third of all hot dogs consumed on the Fourth of July come from where?
Iowa
Americans eat more than 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth. About a third of those wieners come from one place -- Iowa, and no, you still don't want to know what's in those dogs.
China
Soviet Union

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The Philippines also celebrates on the Fourth of July, recognizing its independence from which nation?
Australia
U.S.
In 1946, in the wake of World War II, the Philippines gained its independence from the U.S. For the first time in many years, the Filipino people had full sovereignty from foreign occupiers.
Latvia

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How do American current consumer fireworks sales compare with sales from 15 years ago?
they've more than doubled
American consumer fireworks sales have more than doubled in the past 15 years, from a measly 107 million pounds to more than 240 million pounds in 2016. BOOM.
they've fallen by a factor of five
all fireworks are illegal

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In the past 40 years, fireworks sales have skyrocketed. Why are fireworks-related injuries dropping?
kids can run faster these days
better fireworks quality
In what seems like a counterintuitive statistic, fireworks-related injuries have dropped even as sales of the explosives skyrocket. The reason? Better education and better quality fireworks, which are less likely to malfunction.
longer fuses

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In 1884, miners in Swan City, Colorado, were mad that they hadn't received any fireworks to celebrate the Fourth. So what did they do instead?
they sobbed and went back to digging
they blew up the post office
Miners were seriously disappointed that no one sent fireworks to them. So they made their own instead -- by loading the post office with explosives and then blowing it sky-high.
they assassinated the president

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