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Opinion >  Column

Go forth for July 4th with the annual trivia quiz

Fireworks explode during Spokane's 2017 Fourth of July fireworks celebration on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, at Riverfront Park in Spokane. If it's the Fourth of July, it's time for a round of patriotic trivia from Spin Control columnist Jim Camden.   (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Fireworks explode during Spokane's 2017 Fourth of July fireworks celebration on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, at Riverfront Park in Spokane. If it's the Fourth of July, it's time for a round of patriotic trivia from Spin Control columnist Jim Camden.  (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

If it’s hot as a firecracker, it must be almost Fourth of July. Actually, it would be almost Fourth of July regardless of the weather, so it’s time for all good patriots to step up for Spin Control’s annual Independence Day trivia quiz.

Some people consider 13 an unlucky number, but we do one question for each original colony. So take the test without looking at the answers, lest you be banished from the backyard barbecue.

1. Which of the following was NOT one of the original 13 colonies?

A. North Carolina

B. Georgia

C. Delaware

D. Maine

2. After the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed a series of laws to punish the colonists that included placing Massachusetts under military rule and requiring colonists to house troops in their homes. What did the colonists call those laws?

A. The Intolerable Acts

B. The Tyrannical Acts

C. The Objectionable Acts

D. The Unacceptable Acts

3. Where were the British headed when Paul Revere made his famous ride?

A. Boston

B. Concord

C. New York

D. Salem

4. The British were planning to capture two leaders of the rebellion who would later sign the Declaration of Independence. Who were they?

A. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson

B. John Adams and Paul Revere

C. Sam Adams and John Hancock

D. John Jay and Elbridge Gerry

5. Which of the following lines is NOT in the Declaration of Independence?

A. We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union

B. Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

C. The separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them

D. We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor

6. How many future presidents signed the Declaration of Independence?

A. 1

B. 2

C. 3

D. 4

7. Who said “Give me liberty or give me death”?

A. Thomas Jefferson

B. Thomas Paine

C. Patrick Henry

D. Nathan Hale

8. For a brief period after the United States became independent, there was an area of what is now North Carolina and eastern Tennessee that residents claimed was a state named after one of the Founding Fathers. Which one?

A. Thomas Jefferson

B. Benjamin Franklin

C. John Adams

D. George Washington

9. The American Revolution officially ended with the Treaty of Paris. What future president helped negotiate that treaty?

A. Thomas Jefferson

B. James Madison

C. John Adams

D. George Washington

10. The American Revolution ended in 1783, but the United States didn’t adopt the Constitution until 1788. What document defined government powers until then?

A. The Magna Carta

B. The Mayflower Compact

C. The Alliance of States

D. The Articles of Confederation

11. How many of the 13 new states had to ratify the Constitution for it to take effect?

A. 9

B. 10

C. 12

D. 13

12. According to the old saying, what crop is supposed to be “knee-high by the Fourth of July”?

A. Barley

B. Corn

C. Hay

D. Wheat

13. George III was king of Great Britain during the American Revolution. Who was king during the War of 1812?

A. George III

B. George IV

C. William IV

D. Edward VI


1. D. Maine was part of Massachusetts and didn’t become a state until 1820.

2. A. The British called them the Coercive Acts but the colonists called them the Intolerable Acts.

3. B. They were headed to Concord where the colonial militia kept an arsenal.

4. C. The British traveling to Concord were also hoping to capture Sam Adams and John Hancock, two leaders of the rebels.

5. A. That’s the opening line from the Constitution.

6. B. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

7. C. Patrick Henry said it, although not when voting for the Declaration of Independence at the Continental Congress but a year earlier at the Second Virginia Convention.

8. B. The state of Franklin was originally part of North Carolina which had been sold to land speculators. They wanted to secede and become a state, but the Congress under the Articles of Confederation didn’t approve it. It later became part of Tennessee.

9. C. Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay negotiated the treaty.

10. D. The Articles of Confederation, which proved inadequate for the new nation. Instead of revising them, a whole new Constitution was drafted and passed.

11. A. The agreement required nine states to ratify. All 13 eventually did.

12. B. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, a good crop of corn should be knee high by the Fourth of July, although according to the song in “Oklahoma” it should be as high as an elephant’s eye.

13. B. George III has the distinction of losing two wars to the Americans, although his son was governing as regent and the second war ended in a bit of a draw with several major issues unsettled and one of the American’s biggest victories, the Battle of New Orleans, coming after the treaty was signed.


0-3 Union Jack

4-6 Yankee Doodle

7-10 Minute Person

11-13 Founding Father or Mother

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