American History Quiz - A Capitol Fourth
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AMERICAN HISTORY QUIZ

1. Independence Day was first established as a holiday by Congress in what year?

Correct! You really know your history! Congress proclaimed the Fourth of July a national holiday in 1870, and in 1938 it was established as a paid holiday for federal employees.

Ooops, better luck next time! Congress proclaimed the Fourth of July a national holiday in 1870, and in 1938 it was established as a paid holiday for federal employees.

2. Who was the first president to live in the White House?

That's right! You should work for the Library of Congress! John Adams took up residence in the White House on November 1, 1800. In the first few days of his residency, he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, containing this prayer:

"I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."

Ooops, better luck next time! John Adams took up residence in the White House on November 1, 1800. In the first few days of his residency, he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, containing this prayer:

"I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."

3. What do the colors of the American flag symbolize?

Correct! You really know your history! The full symbolism of the flag colors is as follows: red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white symbolizes purity and innocence; and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

Ooops, better luck next time! The full symbolism of the flag colors is as follows: red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white symbolizes purity and innocence; and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

4. Calvin Coolidge was the only U.S. president born on the Fourth of July. Three presidents, however, died on that date. Who were they?

Correct! You really know your history! Former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, when on July 4, 1826 they both passed away within hours of each other. Interestingly enough, July 4, 1826 was also the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Former President James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

Ooops, better luck next time! Former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, when on July 4, 1826 they both passed away within hours of each other. Interestingly enough, July 4, 1826 was also the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Former President James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

5. On July 4, 1976, Americans all over the country celebrated our nation’s 200th birthday. How many tons of fireworks were exploded in a magnificent display above the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.?

Correct! You really know your history! That’s right - 33 tons! That is heavier than the average humpback whale! In addition, during the Washington, D.C. 200th birthday celebration, laser beams spelled out “1776-1976, Happy Birthday, USA” across the sky.

Ooops, better luck next time! That’s right - 33 tons! That is heavier than the average humpback whale! In addition, during the Washington, D.C. 200th birthday celebration, laser beams spelled out “1776-1976, Happy Birthday, USA” across the sky.

6. Where did John Philip Sousa compose The Stars and Stripes Forever, the official march of the United States?

Nice work! You're a star-spangled genius! John Philip Sousa composed the famous march on Christmas Day after he learned of the death of David Blakely, the Sousa Band manager. It was performed for the first time at Willow Grove Park in Philadelphia on May 14, 1897.

Ooops, better luck next time! John Philip Sousa composed the famous march on Christmas Day after he learned of the death of David Blakely, the Sousa Band manager. It was performed for the first time at Willow Grove Park in Philadelphia on May 14, 1897.

7. Where was the first Fourth of July celebration with a fireworks display held?

Nice work! You're a star-spangled genius! Boston, Massachusetts held the first Fourth of July celebration with a fireworks display on July 4, 1777.

Ooops, better luck next time! Boston, Massachusetts held the first Fourth of July celebration with a fireworks display on July 4, 1777.

8. True or False: Pierre L'Enfant was fired from his position before the National Mall and the Capitol Building were completed.

That's right! You should work for the Library of Congress! Architect Pierre L'Enfant was a dear friend of George Washington, who hated having to ask him to step down. Unfortunately, however, L'Enfant became unresponsive and headstrong in the planning of the Mall, and his hot temper conflicted with the various building projects he oversaw. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery overlooking the city he designed.

Ooops, better luck next time! Architect Pierre L'Enfant was a dear friend of George Washington, who hated having to ask him to step down. Unfortunately, however, L'Enfant became unresponsive and headstrong in the planning of the Mall, and his hot temper conflicted with the various building projects he oversaw. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery overlooking the city he designed.

9. How does the community of Seward, Alaska celebrate the Fourth of July?

That's right! You should work for the Library of Congress! The tradition of running to the top of Mount Marathon began in the early 1900s as a competition between sailors coming into the port town of Seward, Alaska. In 2011, the event was officially inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

Ooops, better luck next time! The tradition of running to the top of Mount Marathon began in the early 1900s as a competition between sailors coming into the port town of Seward, Alaska. In 2011, the event was officially inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

10. The U.S. flag is flown 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by either presidential proclamation or law, at the following places except:

Nice work! You're a star-spangled genius! There are eight total locations where the flag must be flown 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
  • United States Marine Corp Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, Virginia
  • The White House in Washington, D.C.
  • Flag House Square in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland
  • On the Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts
  • United States Customs Ports of Entry
  • Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Pennsylvania

Ooops, better luck next time! There are eight total locations where the flag must be flown 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
  • United States Marine Corp Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, Virginia
  • The White House in Washington, D.C.
  • Flag House Square in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland
  • On the Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts
  • United States Customs Ports of Entry
  • Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Pennsylvania

11. 2014 marked the 200th birthday of:

That's right! You should work for the Library of Congress! Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner in 1814, after he witnessed the Battle of Fort McHenry after he witnessed the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Although it was quite popular throughout the 19th century, it was not officially adopted as the national anthem until March 3, 1931, in a law signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Ooops, better luck next time! Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner in 1814, after he witnessed the Battle of Fort McHenry after he witnessed the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Although it was quite popular throughout the 19th century, it was not officially adopted as the national anthem until March 3, 1931, in a law signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Ooops, better luck next time

Hmmm, you should read up on some history books.

You did ok, but looks like you need to brush up on your history.

Nice job, you really know your history!

Great job, you should work for the Library of Congress!

Thanks for playing!