How well do Middle Georgians know Independence Day history?

jwilliams@macon.comJuly 3, 2013 

  • Fourth of July quiz

    1. Who was England’s king when the American Colonies declared their independence?
    a. George II
    b. Charles VIII
    c. Edward IV
    d. George III

    2. What document is most closely associated with the Fourth of July?
    a. U.S. Constitution
    b. Bill of Rights
    c. Declaration of Independence
    d. Patriot Act

    3. What year did the Colonies declare their independence?
    a. 1676
    b. 1767
    c. 1776
    d. 1877

    4. Which two signers of the Declaration of Independence died on July 4?
    a. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson
    b. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
    c. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams
    d. James Monroe and George Washington

    5. Whose signature on the Declaration of Independence is larger than any of the other signatures?
    a. Thomas Jefferson
    b. John Adams
    c. John Hancock
    d. James Madison

    Answers: d, c, c, b, c

Some details from American history class may be a bit fuzzy, and some of the names and dates associated with July Fourth might have been forgotten.

But the 10 Middle Georgia residents who took an Independence Day quiz from The Telegraph remembered most of the basics about the holiday’s history.

Some hemmed and hawed before guessing at the answers while others confidently breezed through the five-question Fourth of July test. The average number of correct answers on the quiz was 3.4.

Sabrina Troutman, a 48-year-old from Macon who didn’t get as many questions right as she would have liked, said knowing the country’s history is important.

“I think on the Fourth we should be grateful for our history, and we should celebrate it as a family, community and country,” she said.

Andrea Brown, 19, scored slightly higher than Troutman, but she admitted she might need to brush up on her knowledge of Colonial America.

“I felt like I should have known (the answers), but I didn’t,” Brown said. “I definitely learned it in school.”

More than one quiz-taker pointed out that as parents they sometimes seem to have one foot back in the history classroom.

“With two kids in school, I’m getting a refresher course from them,” said Kriss Bullock, 47, of Warner Robins.

Some said they fear “we the people,” especially today’s youth, are losing a sense of history.

“I think they forget it, and a lot of them aren’t even learning it. The schools aren’t emphasizing it so that they retain it,” Bev Ellgass, 72, said. But her 13-year-old granddaughter Rachel provided the right answers to two of the quiz’s trickier questions.

And Jay Oliver, 51, said his children know more about history than he did at their age. With resources like the History Channel, he said there’s an increased potential for learning.

“It’s much easier to learn now if you want to,” he said.

But despite whether the 10 who took the quiz knew whose signature was the largest on the Declaration of Independence, all of them got the most important questions right and agreed that remembering and understanding the history of Independence Day is crucial.

“I think it’s important 12 months a year to know what happened before you were born,” said Larry Ellgass, 74.

Scott McNally, a 36-year-old from Macon, said freedom should be celebrated more than once a year.

“My brother fights to protect what took place in 1776,” he said.

To contact writer Jaime Williams, call 744-4331.

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