I dislike the term trivia. No knowledge is trivial. All information contributes to the whole of an intelligent human being. And, it is an essential part of critical thinking. That is why I did not call this a Trivia Quiz. Instead, I am calling it a Knowledge Quiz.
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Knowledge Quiz, No. 12
A 4th of July Knowledge Quiz
1. After the ratification of The Constitution, what was the first capital of the U.S.?
2. How many U. S. Presidents have been assassinated?
3. Who said, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country"?
4. What day and year was the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii?
5. Who was Tom Paine?
6. What was the biggest land purchase made by the United States?
7. What was the only American colony?
8. What was The Trail of Tears?
9. Who wrote the Presidential march known as Hail to the Chief?
10. What was The Underground Railway?
11. How many states seceded from the Union to form The Confederacy?
12. What did English King George III write in his dairy on July 4, 1776?
13. Who is known as The Great Compromiser?
14. In what state were more American Presidents born than in any other?
15. What was The Whiskey Rebellion?
16. What great American city was destroyed by an earthquake?
17. Washington D.C. is a planned city. Who created the plan for the city's streets?
18. What is called "The shot heard round the world"?
19. Who designed the first American flag?
20. Who wrote: We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States….?
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1. The first capital of the U. S. was New York City (1789- 1790). The second capital was Philadelphia (1790-1800).
2. Four U.S. Presidents have been assassinated, Abraham Lincoln (Good Friday, April 14, 1985), James A Garfield (Saturday July 2, 1881),William McKinley (Friday, September 6, 1901), and John F. Kennedy (Friday, November 22, 1963). There have also been 12 failed assassination attempts against Presidents Jackson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt (shot), Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Reagan (shot), George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush.
3. It was Nathan Hale (1755- 1776) of Connecticut who said it. Hale attended Yale, was a teacher and was opposed slavery on ethical grounds. He volunteered to go behind enemy lines to act as a spy during The Revolution. He was captured by the British and said "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country" just before he was executed as a spy by the British in New York City. There is a famous statue of him created by Frederick MacMonnies in City Hall Park in Manhattan, New York City, and there is a plaque honoring him in Yale University's Battell Chapel in New Haven, Connecticut.
4. The sneak attack on Pearl Harbor (on the island of Oahu in Hawaii) by Japan took place on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The overall death toll was 2,350, including 68 civilians. Those who were injured in the attack numbered 1,178. Nine ships of the U.S. fleet were sunk and an addition 21 ships sustained damage. In an address to Congress, President Roosevelt call that date "A date which will live in infamy." December 7 is a state holiday in Hawaii.
5. Tom Paine (1737- 1809) was an Englishman by birth who wrote pamphlets to rally support in the colonies for the American Revolution. His most famous pamphlet was called Common Sense.
6. It was the Louisiana Purchase from France. It doubled the size of the U.S., added 828, 800 square miles to the U. S., and cost (in total) $15,000,000. It was President Thomas Jefferson who is responsible for the purchase.
7. It was The Philippines which was captured from Spain during The Spanish-American War. It was a U. S. colony. It remained a colony from 1898 until 1946.
8. The Trail of Tears (1831- 1837) was a forced relocation of Native Americans from southeastern parts of the present-day U.S. to inhospitable lands in present-day Oklahoma. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while on route to their destinations resulting in thousands of deaths. It has been described as an act of genocide by modern historians.
9. The music to Hail to the Chief was written by James Sanderson. The words were written by Albert Gamse but they very rarely used. (For the words, see below answer 20.)
10. The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves in the U. S. before The Civil War to escape to free states, Canada, Mexico or overseas. They were aided by abolitionists and others.
11. There were 11 states and 3 territories in The Confederacy. The states were: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina. The territories were southern New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma. In addition, pro-Confederacy attitudes were high but were suppressed by Union soldier invasions in Kentucky, Missouri, and West Virginia.
12. On July 4, 1776, King George III wrote in his diary, "Nothing of importance happened today."
13. Henry Clay (1777- 1852) was from Kentucky and during his political career was a Congressman, Senator, Speaker of the House, Secretary of State, statesman and a skilled orator. Called "The Great Compromiser," he brokered important compromises on tariff, state's rights and slavery issues.
14. Eight Presidents were born in Virginia. They were Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, William Henry Harrison, Tyler, Taylor and Wilson.
15. The Whiskey Rebellion was a resistance movement in what was the western part of the United States in the 1790s during the Presidency of George Washington. The conflict was rooted in dissatisfaction with various policies of the eastern-based national government. The name of the uprising came from a 1791 tax on whiskey. The tax was a part of program by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton to fund the national debt. The tax was unpopular and difficult to collect. Thomas Jefferson and his newly formed Democratic Republican Party repealed the tax when it came to power in 1800. (The Democratic Republican Party became known as The Democratic Party. It is the oldest still-functioning party in the U.S. and in the world.)
16. San Francisco was destroyed by an earthquake and its aftermath on April 18, 1906, at 5:12am. The death toll is estimated at over 3,000 and it is the largest loss of life from a natural disaster in California history.
17. Pierre L'Enfant (1704- 1787), a Frenchman, designed the street grid for Washington, D.C. He was also a painter of landscapes and battle scenes.
18. "The shot heard round the world" is a term used for the first shot of the American Revolution at Lexington, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775. No one knows who fired that shot. (Now you know more than Sarah Palin about the start of The Revolution.)
19. The short answer is that no one knows.
According to popular legend, the first American flag was made by Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress who was acquainted with George Washington. In May 1776, so the story goes, Washington and two representatives from the Continental Congress visited Ross at her upholstery shop and showed her a rough design of the flag. Although Washington initially favored using a star with six points, Ross advocated for a five-pointed star, which could be cut with just one quick snip of the scissors. Unfortunately, historians have never been able to verify this story. The story of Washington's visit became popular about the time of the country's first centennial, after William Canby, a grandson of Ross, told the story of Washington's visit in a speech given at the Philadelphia Historical Society in March, 1870.
What is known is that the first unofficial national flag, called the Grand Union Flag or the Continental Colors, was raised at the behest of General Washington near his headquarters outside Boston, Mass., on Jan. 1, 1776. The flag had 13 alternating red and white horizontal stripes and the British flag in the canton (the box in the upper left corner). Another early flag had a rattlesnake and the motto “Don't Tread on Me.”
The first official national flag, also known as the Stars and Stripes, was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. The blue canton contained 13 stars, representing the original 13 colonies, but the configuration of the stars varied. Although nobody knows for sure who designed the flag, it may have been Continental Congress member Francis Hopkinson.
20. The words were written by Thomas Jefferson in the final paragraph of The Declaration of Independence. It is the first known use of what would become the nation's name, The United Sates of America.
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Words to Hail to the Chief
Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.
Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that's our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!