Reflections

Trivia: The Declaration of Independence

241 years ago, on a hot, humid Philadelphia day a group of men gathered in Independence Hall to sign a document that birthed a new nation—the United States of America.

That document, the Declaration of Independence, not only marked the beginning of our country, but it potentially marked the end of the signers.   By placing their signatures on the document, each signer was committing treason against the British Crown, a crime that was  punishable by death.

In honor of our nation’s  birthday, and the brave men who risked their lives and fortunes when they signed their names, we thought it would be fun to test your Declaration of Independence knowledge with a short trivia quiz.  See how much you remember from your school days.  The answers are at the end. No peeking allowed:

  1. How many people signed the Declaration of Independence?
    1. 57
    2. 50
    3. 56
    4. 76
  2. Who was the first person to sign the Declaration?
    1. George Washington
    2. John Hancock
    3. John Adams
    4. Thomas Jefferson
  3. What was the actual month and year that the Declaration was signed?
    1. August 1776
    2. July 1776
    3. July 1777
    4. June 1776
  4. The second paragraph of the Declaration is considered its preamble and states that people have certain inalienable rights. Which of the following rights is not mentioned in the preamble?
    1. Liberty
    2. Pursuit of happiness
    3. Life
    4. Freedom of speech
  5. What is the first word in the Declaration?
    1. When
    2. Wherefore
    3. This
    4. While
  6. Who was the chief author of the Declaration?
    1. John Adams
    2. Roger Sherman
    3. Robert Livingstone
    4. Thomas Jefferson
  7. Which of the following people did NOT sign the Declaration?
    1. Samuel Adams
    2. Benjamin Franklin
    3. George Clymer
    4. George Washington
  8. Who was the first person to sign the Declaration?
    1. Benjamin Franklin
    2. John Hancock
    3. John  Adams
    4. Arthur Middleton
  9. Who was the oldest person to sign the Declaration?
    1. John Hancock
    2. Benjamin Harrison
    3. Benjamin Franklin
    4. Oliver Wolcott
  10. The “Signing of the Declaration” mosaic, a re-creation of the noted painting by John Trumbull which is in the rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., is located at which Forest Lawn?
    1. Glendale
    2. Hollywood Hills
    3. Cypress
    4. Cathedral City

 

 

Answers:

  1. C – 56
  2. B – John Hancock
  3. A – August 1776. The Declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776, but no one was able to sign it until August 2, 1776. Until August 2, 1776, there was only one signature on the Declaration of Independence and that was of John Hancock.
  4. D. Freedom of speech. That right is part of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.
  5. A. When. “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
  6. D. Thomas Jefferson.
  7. D. George Washington
  8. B. John Hancock. Hancock, as President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Other members of the Continental Congress signed weeks later. Hancock’s signatures is by far the largest of all the signatures. He reportedly stated, after affixing his large autograph to the document, that he did it so “John Bull (England) could read it without spectacles”.
  9. C. Benjamin Franklin
  10. A. Glendale. The mosaic is the centerpiece of the Court of Freedom.

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