PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nothing says history like a fife & drum corps performing at Point State Park on the Fourth of July.
But sometimes Americans know more about music than the basic facts of Independence Day.
So KDKA political editor Jon Delano put together a quick pop quiz on the holiday, and walked around the park in search of correct answers.
Almost everyone got the first question: “What do we celebrate on the Fourth of July?”
“America’s independence,” was the nearly unanimous response.
But the second question stumped more than a few.
“Who did we declare independence from,” Delano asked people in the park.
Common responses: “I dunno,” or “I don’t even know that.”
Some suggested France, which was actually an ally of the new nation, or Canada.
The answer, of course, is Great Britain.
So what year did America declare independence from Britain?
The right answer is 1776, but lots of people missed that one, too.
And even more could not name the infamous King who is denounced throughout the Declaration of Independence for his transgressions against the American colonies.
King Arthur, King Charles, King James were suggested by some.
The correct answer is King George III.
So who was the first patriot to sign the Declaration of Independence?
More people seemed to know who signed the Declaration first.
And one woman added, correctly, “And he did it really big so the King wouldn’t miss his name.”
So where exactly was the Declaration signed?
Even with the hint that it was the city of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, one suggested New York.
Another proffered Pittsburgh or Harrisburg.
Right state, but wrong city.
The answer, of course, is Philadelphia.
And the oldest man to sign the document?
Benjamin Franklin, who was 70 years of age at the time.
But this simple question puzzled many: Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
The answer is Thomas Jefferson, who later became the 3rd president of the United States.
Whether we know the answers to these pop quiz questions or not, the Fourth of July is still a great holiday to celebrate.
But the answers suggest that maybe we all could take a little bit of time to refresh ourselves on basic American history.