Today is Independence Day here in the United States. It's a federal holiday, so the offices of Certification Magazine are closed until Wednesday. Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. This event energized and crystallized American resistance to British rule, which had already erupted into war on April 18, 1775.
We'll return to our regular schedule of operations tomorrow. Until then, why not enjoy this 4th of July-themed quiz about the Declaration of Independence?
1) The Committee of Five commissioned to write the Declaration of Independence included Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and which two of the following five men: James Madison, Roger Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, Robert Livingston, and Caesar Rodney?
2) Who wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence?
3) Who printed the first copies of Declaration of Independence?
4) Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
5) What date was the Declaration of Independence signed?
6) When did George Washington sign the Declaration of Independence?
7) Who crafted the inkstand used by the signers when affixing their signatures to the Declaration of Independence?
8) Who discovered the the clue to the treasure of the Temple of Solomon written in invisible ink on the back of the Declaration of Independence?
9) Who engrossed, or transcribed by hand, the copy of the Declaration of Independence that eventually became the signed document still preserved today?
10) Where was the Declaration of Independence stored during World War II?
1) Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston. Sherman, from Connecticut, is the only person to have signed the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution.
2) Thomas Jefferson. Despite the committee's initial inclination, strongly supported by Jefferson himself, that John Adams should write the document, the task ultimately fell to Jefferson, who completed it in just 17 days.
3) John Dunlap. Dunlap's printing shop was situated near the Pennsylvania State House, where the Continental Congress had been meeting. After receiving a handwritten copy of the declaration on July 4, he worked through the night to produce 200 printed copies.
4) The Pennsylvania State House. The State House, completed in 1753, was also the site of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The name Independence Hall did not become widely adopted until the 1870s.
5) Different men signed at different times. Though formally adopted on July 4, 1776, and possibly signed by John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, that same day, it is generally accepted that the document eventually enshrined at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., did not come under the pen of most of the signatories until Aug. 2. Matthew Thornton, a delegate from New Hampshire, did not sign until Nov. 4.
6) George Washington did not sign the Declaration of Independence. Already in command of the Continental Army and stationed in New York, Washington received a broadside copy of the declaration from John Hancock and, following Hancock's instructions, had it read aloud to his troops on July 9.
7) Noted silversmith Philip Syng crafted the inkstand. Created in 1752, the Syng inkstand was also used at the signing of the United States Constitution.
8) Historian and treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates discovered an Ottendorf cipher on the back of the declaration, as recounted in the factual historical drama National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage.
9) Thomas Matlack. Matlack, a brewer and bottler by trade and a committed revolutionary, was noted for his excellent penmanship. He wrote his copy on vellum.
10) Fort Knox. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941, both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were moved to Fort Knox for safekeeping and kept there until 1944.