PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s the Fourth of July in Pittsburgh, and Americans are celebrating.
But do we really know what we celebrate today on the Fourth of July?
KDKA political editor Jon Delano thought he’d go to Point State Park and give a little Fourth of July quiz.
Families at the park were decked out in some great red-white-and-blue, so Jon pulled out his Uncle Sam hat to give a history quiz.
Delano: “What do we celebrate on the Fourth of July?”
Youngster: “American independence.”
That’s the easy one, although others had their own reasons for celebrating.
“Off of work, off of work. Pretty much that. Right,” exclaimed one young woman.
Ok, so who did we declare our independence from?
“Woooo. I don’t know,” said one woman.
Delano: “What year did we declare our independence?”
Young woman: “Ah…..18…”
Delano: “What year?”
Youngster: “Ah, I don’t know.”
One woman got some “lifeline” help from her husband in response to the next quiz question.
Delano: “Do you know where we declared our independence? What city? Don’t say, sir. You’re cheating.”
Delano: “Did you know that?”
Woman, laughing: “No.”
At the Fort Pitt Museum, we found an expert in Floyd Dierker of Shaler, who volunteers in colonial era costume.
“We’re celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776,” said Dierker.
Delano: “And who did we declare our independence from?”
Dierker: “Great Britain.”
So who wrote the declaration?
“Thomas Jefferson,” said one youngster.
But he didn’t do it alone, said Dierker.
“Primarily Thomas Jefferson with help from Ben Franklin and John Adams,” added Dierker.
And who signed it first in very big letters?
“It was John Hancock, wasn’t it?” said another youngster.
But this next question one stumps everybody.
What are the first words of the Declaration?
Delano: “Could it be, ‘We the people?’”
Young Man: “We the people, that’s it. Yeah.”
Delano: “No, it’s not it.”
Young Man: “That’s not it? What? No.”
Those are the first words of the U.S. Constitution drafted in Philadelphia eleven years later in 1787.
The first sentence of the Declaration of Independence begins: “When in the course of human events….”
And that’s followed by the more memorable second sentence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Now knowing the answers to this quiz doesn’t make you a better American. but it sure would be nice if more Americans knew their American history!