by Minnie Knych



On July 4th, we celebrated America’s Declaration of Independence.  That eloquent document is an important part of our history.  So, how much do you really know about the Declaration of Independence?

Here are the questions: (Answers are below. Answer without peeking and then see how you did!)

1.   When was the Declaration of Independence signed?

2.   Is there really a message written on the back of the Declaration of Independence like in the movie, National Treasure?

3.   How many signatures are on the Declaration of Independence?

4.   Who were the oldest and youngest signers of the Declaration of Independence?

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

A.  We

B. The

C. When

D. United




Q1 ANSWER:  Officially, the Continental Congress declared its freedom from Britain on July 2, 1776, when it approved a resolution and delegates from New York were given permission to make it a unanimous vote.  Most of the members of the Continental Congress signed a version of the Declaration in early August 1776 in Philadelphia.

Q2 ANSWER:  Yes, but it is not nearly as dramatic as in the movie.  The message is: “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.”   Experts believe that the backside inscription was added at some point when the Declaration was put in storage.

Q3 ANSWER:  You probably know this answer from your high school American History class – 56 men signed the Declaration.  Eight of the signers were born in Great Britain.  Gwinnett Button and Robert Morris were born in England, Francis Lewis was born in Wales, James Wilson and John Witherspoon were born in Scotland, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton were born in Ireland and James Smith hailed from Northern Ireland.

Q4 ANSWER:  The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin, 70 years old when he scrawled his name on the parchment. The youngest was Edward Rutledge, a lawyer from South Carolina who was only 26 at the time.

Q5 ANSWER:  C. 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.”

When I was in 5th grade, we were required to memorize these first words of the Declaration.  Can your children or grandchildren recite this paragraph today?