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Try our 13 Trivia Questions for Independence Day

July 4th is a day for getting together with friends and family, tossing back a few cold ones and grilling a few hot dogs and watching things go Ka-Boom in the night sky. But before you go painting the town red-white-and-blue, test your Yankee-Doodle-ness with our annual 13 Trivias for Independence Day. 

(There's another July 4th Quiz in Wednesday's paper, but these are the ones we thought were a little bit tougher.)

1. According to the poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “the shot heard round the world” was fired at
A. Lexington
B. Concord
C. Boston
D. Yorktown
E. Trenton

2. The Battle of Bunker Hill took place in the city of
A. Boston
B. New York
C. Lexington
D. Philadelphia
E. Charleston

3. Who was the last president who was born a citizen of another country?
A. James Monroe
B. John Quincy Adams
C. Andrew Jackson
D. Martin Van Buren
E. Millard Fillmore

4. To what political party did President George Washington belong?
A. Federalist
B. Whig
C. Democratic
D. Republican
E. Can't fool me. None of those are right.

5. By the end of the American Revolution, what was the ratio of blacks in the Continental Army?
A. 1 in 20
B. 1 in 10
C. 1 in 7
D. 1 in 4
E. None, blacks weren’t allowed to serve.

6. On what ship did John Paul Jones utter the phrase “I have not yet begun to fight”?
A. USS Bonhomme Richard
B. USS Constitution
C. USS Liberty
D. USS Invincible
E. Can’t fool me. Patrick Henry said that.

7. Before the Star Spangled Banner, what song served as American’s unofficial anthem?
A. Yankee Doodle
B. Battle Hymn of the Republic
C. God Bless America
D. My Country ‘Tis of Thee
E. America the Beautiful

8. Before the U.S. Constitution was ratified, what was the document that governed the United States?
A. The Magna Carta
B. The Declaration of Independence
C. The Articles of Confederation
D. The Emancipation Proclamation
E. The Mayflower Compact

9. Who was president for the nation’s Centennial?
A. James Polk
B. Abraham Lincoln
C. Andrew Johnson
D. Ulysses S. Grant
E. Rutherford Hayes

10. What was the first state added to the original 13?
A. Vermont
B. Kentucky
C. Tennessee
D. Ohio
E. Louisiana

11. From what country did Thomas Jefferson buy the land of the Louisiana Purchase?
A. England
B. France
C. Mexico
D. Russia
E. Spain

12. In what line of stars in the flag is the star for Idaho?
A. Fifth from the top
B. Sixth from the top
C. Seventh from the top
D. Eighth from the top
E. Can’t fool me. None of those are right.

13. Name the presidents whose last name ended in ”-son”

Wonder how you did? Answers inside the blog.


1. B. The poem is called “Concord Hymn”

2. A. The battle, which was actually fought on Breed’s Hill, was in Boston.

3. C. Jackson was the last president born before independence, so he and his predecessors were born as British subjects. No points if you wrote in Barack Obama.

4. Washington agreed more with the Federalists than with the Jefferson's Democratic Republicans, but he didn't belong to a party and even warned against them in his farewell address.

5.. When the Continental Army was first formed, neither slaves nor free blacks were allowed to serve, but they did fight against the British in the seige of Boston and Washington later relented and allowed them to serve, often in their own units. By one recent estimate, about 1 in 7 members of the Continental Army were black around the time of Yorktown.

6. A. Jones was on the Bonhomme Richard (Poor Richard, named for Franklin's almanac), fighting against the HMS Serapis.

7. D. My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” also known simply as “America” was written to the same melody as “God Save the King”. That tune was adapted in various forms after the Revolution, and the words to “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” were written in 1831. It slowly gained popularity after that and was often used as an anthem until 1931, when Congress declared The Star Spangled Banner to be the National Anthem.

8. C. The Articles of Confederation, although in truth, they weren't doing a very good job of it.

9. D. Grant was finishing his second term in 1876.

10. A. Vermont

11. B. He made one of the shrewdest land deals in the history of real estate with Napoleon.

12. E. No star represents a particular state.

13. There are 8: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harrison, Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon Johnson.

Scoring: 0-4 right, you're channelling George III
Scoring 5-8 right, you're channelling George Will
Scoring 9-13 right, you're channelling George Washington

Try our weekly newsquizzes, and have a chance for weekly prizes. Click here to take this week's That's News To You Quiz.


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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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