Take this patriotic quiz to find out if you're a true Yankee Doodle Dandy

Teaching Your Child

Teaching Your Child


Today is the Fourth of July, Independence Day.

There will be fireworks, cookouts, family time, patriotic remembrances.

We're free and proud of it.

We will celebrate our nation's birth.

The birth of a nation ... what exactly does that mean? What does this day commemorate?

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. With that document, the colonies declared their independence from England. They were standing up to King George, telling him that they believed all men are created equal. They did not want a king. They wanted a new form of government.

The framework of that republic would later be outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

First, these colonies needed to make their intentions clear.

An eloquent writer and statesman was given the job of expressing these ideas on paper. From history class, most of us will remember that the writer of the Declaration of Independence was Thomas Jefferson, who later became the third president of the United States.


What else can we remember about our nation's beginnings? Kick back, relax and see if you can answer these questions:


1. What is the first word of the Declaration of Independence?

2. Our "certain unalienable rights" are "life, __________, and the pursuit of happiness."

3. Where did the Second Continental Congress meet?

4. The signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their "lives, fortunes and sacred ___________."

5. Four men from Maryland signed the document. Can you name them? (If you can't, ask some fifth-graders. They studied this in fourth grade last year.)

6. Independence Day observances became common after which war?

7. Three American presidents died on July 4. Can you list them?

8. Which president was born on July 4?

9. Name the patriotic song that begins with these words: "While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, let us swear allegiance to a land that's free."

10. What is the title of the Broadway musical that dramatized the events leading up to the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence?


1. "When," which is followed by "in the course of human events ...."

2. liberty

3. Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall

4. honour, the spelling of which was later Americanized to "honor" by Noah Webster

5. Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone and Charles Carroll of Carrollton

6. The War of 1812 (Independence Day became a federal holiday in 1870.)

7. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, on July 4, 1826, and James Monroe on July 4, 1831

8. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, was born on July 4, 1873.

9. "God Bless America"

10. "1776"

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at

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