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Ernie's House of Whoopass! July 4, 2014
July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day, 'Murica!

What day did most signers of the Declaration of Independence actually sign the document? Aug. 2, 1776.

How many people signed the Declaration of Independence on July Fourth? Two.

What other countries celebrate the Fourth of July? Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. Denmark Danes and Norwegians celebrate American Independence Day because thousands emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Other European countries, like England, Portugal and Sweden, hold celebrations near American military bases and or spots frequented by American tourists to boost travel during early July.

How did the Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Contest begin? It apparently started after a disagreement among four immigrants over who was the most patriotic.

Is there something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence? Yes. It might not be a treasure map as Nicholas Cage's character claims in “National Treasure,” but there is apparently a message written upside down at the bottom of the signed document: “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” It's not known who wrote it or when. Since parchment was usually rolled up during the Revolutionary War years, it's thought this memo served as a label.

One member of Congress who did not sign the Declaration was John Dickinson. What was his reason? He hoped for a reconciliation with Britain. The "last of the moderates", Dickinson was reluctant to cut the proverbial apron strings with Mother England. Fortunately, he was in the minority.

There are 24 known copies of the version of the Declaration known as the "Dunlap Broadside", named after John Dunlap. Who was he? A printer. John Dunlap was the official printer to the Congress. He produced the first copies of the Declaration, which, on July 5, were distributed by members of Congress to assemblies, conventions, and commanders of the troops.

Of all the colonies, which state had the most signatories?Pennsylvania. There were nine delegates from Pennsylvania: George Clymer, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, James Smith, George Taylor, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Ross, and James Wilson.

Why was Thomas Jefferson chosen for the actual formulating of the draft of the Declaration of Independence? He was from Virginia. Although Jefferson was obviously a very gifted man and talented writer, the main reason he was chosen to draft the Declaration was his status as a Virginian. The New England colonies had already been branded as rebellious and unpopular, and it was thought that something written by a Southerner might be taken more seriously. Adams was not chosen because he was from Massachusetts; Franklin because his son was a staunch loyalist; Livingston because he did not like the idea of a declaration; and Sherman simply could not write.

Who were the youngest and oldest signers of the Declaration at that point in time? Edward Rutledge & Ben Franklin. Edward Rutledge was 26, Ben Franklin was 70, John Adams was 41, Thomas Jefferson was 33, and Steven Hopkins was 69.

From which English philosopher did the Declaration committee get ideas for the Declaration? John Locke. John Locke written of the 'natural right of man, which included 'life, liberty and property'. They changed this to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' The committee also wrote that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed, and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive on these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it. These were all John Locke's ideas.

Which signer of the Declaration of Independence was charged with committing treason because of the role he played in leading the Boston Tea Party? Samuel Adams. Adams was vocal in his opposition of the taxes trying to be levied on the colonists by the British Parliament. He actively fought against the Stamp Act and Sugar Act. In 1773 Britain decided to tax tea that was being sold in the America. Even with the tax, the price of tea was cheaper in America than in Britain, but Adams led a revolt to stop the tax because he did not want England to set a precedent allowing Parliament the right to impose taxes on Americans. This compelled Adams and the "Sons of Liberty" to board three British ships that were anchored in Boston Harbor, and disguised as Native Americans; dump the British tea into the sea. The "Boston Tea Party" led to Adams being charged with treason and the order was given to arrest him with force if necessary. He was never caught and Adams continued to be a leader in the fight for American independence.

With which signer did Robert E. Lee share a common blood ancestor? Benjamin Harrison, through Robert Carter I.

Which signer was present at the coronation of King George III? John Hancock was in England in 1760 and attended the coronation of George III. Sixteen years later he was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence with its list of grievances against George III.

Which signer died in a duel? Button Gwinnett of Georgia. He had a longstanding political rivalry with another Georgia politician named Lachlan McIntosh, and when McIntosh publically challenged his honor, Gwinnett offered a duel. Both men were injured; McIntosh survived, but Gwinnet died of his wounds on May 19, 1777.

These bits of trivia were culled from: ibtimes, funtrivia, and bangormuseum.

fireworks courtesy of the: United States Navy and United States Marine Corps

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